A Writer who has been hijacked by life
The swing has four supports. God be praised!
He stoops over swinging back and forth.
She lies back and watches, bracing wide her haunches.
Four peach-pink trouser legs flutter in the breeze.
Two pairs of legs jerk sweetly taut.
You know the games of Springtime, don't you?
When the swing's support is taken out
It leaves behind an empty hole
Ho Xuan Hu'ong
This and other poems by this wonderful Vietnamese feminist poet who lived some 200 years ago can be found in my novel The Alphabet of Vietnam. I translated these poems with the help of a number of Vietnamese students and teachers.
“An extraordinary page-turner. Intricately plotted, with astute observations that capture the fingernails-on-a-blackboard atmosphere of Vietnam, then and now. Reminiscent of Joseph Conrad and Graham Greene. It’s up there with the best.” - Colin Leinster, former Vietnam correspondent, LIFE magazine
"This is not an easy book to read but it is an extraordinary piece of work.” — Amazon USA
"Possibly a great book. Certainly a gem.” - Amazon UK
“In my 33 years as a health educator, I have seen very few books on cancer that are so upbeat and so well written.” - Andrew W Saul, Assistant Editor, Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine
"It's probably the best book on the subject of fighting cancer - I've read quite a number and the others do not come close." - Amazon review
“A remarkably accessible depiction of life under British and Japanese control … it effectively exposes the sordid underbelly of colonial society as we’re led down a path of scandal, corruption, drugs, espionage, and of course pirates, providing a fascinating alternative to the often stuffy discourse on the subject. The book is an incredibly informative read, and a must for all Hong Kong enthusiasts.” – Sam Burrough, HK Magazine
“Hui’s story gives us glimpses of a Hong Kong – the opium dens, the pool halls, the nightclubs, the casinos and the girls, girls, girls – not adequately reflected in official histories of the city." - Asia Times
"This may be the most moving story you will ever read." - Sunday Telegraph
'Wordjazz for Stevie' is a profoundly moving account ... Tragic as the story is, it flows wonderfully with reflections, insight and humour and a huge amount of pain. It is the story of a transforming event in the author's life.... Very compelling writing....I couldn't put it down!" - Amazon review
“A classic work on Chinese folk religion.” – Sir David Tang
"I enjoyed this book and feel it offers a unique voice to a part of the Chinese culture not easily found in a English translation outside of a college setting. I have been out of school for years but I loved the read." - Amazon review
“I think Connah and his family are a true inspiration! This family has gone through so much over the last few years and they are not going to give up the fight. The book is extremely well written and I would certainly recommend it! Connah is a true "amazing kid". - Christina Thatcher, Amazon UK
“My niece has adrenal cancer and this was invaluable in relation to alternative therapies, heartwarming and positive stories.There is also a lot of fantastic information on vitamin supplements and what they do within the body, which is extremely helpful to everyone.” - Sarah Neill, Amazon UK
"A great positive read" - Amazon review
"A marvellous and essential handbook for anybody newly diagnosed with cancer." - Amazon review
“A whirlpool of paradoxes, poetics and treacheries,”. a phrase from Whitebait and Tofu, is not a bad tagline for the book itself. Certainly it’s a whirlpool. Take a thirty-something, 21st century Anglo American photographer and philosopher...somewhere on the west coast of the United States. Boy meets beautiful Japanese girl. Boy gets mixed up in the dangerous intrigues and rivalries between factions in the local Japanese community. Throw in some philosophy and culture ...Mix with lubricious sex and eroticism. Add flavourings of photography, hard drinking, good food, and much more, to create this beautifully written and thrilling dish of Whitebait and Tofu. The title, by the way, comes from an old Japanese recipe…” - Anthony Crichton, Amazon
“A highly entertaining little book.,,,It is one thing to write a page or two of witty and entertaining dialogue, but quite another to keep the ideas flowing for the duration of a book. This story is entertaining and amusing throughout, and at times extremely funny. I got through it in a day which reflects both the fact that I enjoyed it so much as well as it being quite short.” - Amazon review