3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 82 Articles

As a devotee of Chinese martial arts and Chinese culture in general, I've been familiar with martial arts stories since the days of David Carradine's TV Show Kung Fu. What I didn't know until I began to read so-called martial arts stories in novel form is that most of the great literary works of China fit into this category, works ranging back a thousand years or more.  Continue reading...

I was sitting on my grandfather's lap. I understood the part about getting the page you're reading done. Getting it done was exactly what I wanted him to do. Seven-year-old boys are not big on patience. Or poetry either. I was about to suggest we do the Three Little Pigs all over again. But when I craned my head to look up at him, I saw a tear forming in the corner of his eye.  Continue reading...

It all started with Erma Bombeck. As a young kid growing up in the Ozarks, most other boys my age were hunting, fishing, or playing baseball. They lined their rooms with posters of George Brett and Joe Montana, or, if they were a bit older, Farrah Fawcett. But I was obsessed with Erma.  Continue reading...

As a child, my favorite pastime was sitting under the Ping-Pong table, over which I'd draped a cloth tent, reading. When puberty hit, I sequestered myself in my room, preferring to read about others' lives rather than living my own. Entering a cloister when I was 18 put a real crimp in my reading activities. Our reading was limited to lives of the saints and books on prayer or asceticism. The monastery library, however, held an astounding collection of Stoddard's Lectures. I read the entire series, traveling round the world with Stoddard on early 20th century journeys. When I left the monastery I crashed the local library and seized every book the staff recommended.  Continue reading...

I was just a few weeks pregnant when I was hit with the idea for my newest book, Switchcraft. I was on the phone with my friend in New York, turning just a slight shade of green at the tales of her dating adventures. My life as an unfettered young woman was over and then I wondered what would happen if we switched lives?  Continue reading...

I kept hearing about joy, but what I saw was struggle. Doubt. Anguish. I heard praise, but even without looking, I stumbled upon notes of opposition that told -- just maybe -- a different story. The year was 2002 and I was in Puerto Rico on a research trip, watching archival footage of the famous Spanish cellist Pablo Casals.  Continue reading...

I suppose my mother's reading to me as a child could be logged as my first introduction to fiction. In-between my childhood delight with fiction and my fiction writing career, two masters and a Ph.D. in history happened. It was after my Ph.D. in 1985 that I returned to fiction. I guess I had exhausted my curiosity about the "truth." Or, more accurately, I had exhausted my curiosity about formal historical study as a path to understanding "reality."  Continue reading...

3 4 5 6 7 Displaying 29-35 of 82 Articles