I read this collection of essays and reminiscences and book reviews because Charles Foran is going to be speaking at an event I've curated called Focus on China here in Toronto on February 2nd. The essays include the titular one that explores relationships with native Chinese friends during the time Foran spent teaching in Beijing that happened to place him in the eye of the student protests that culminated in the Tian An Men Square Massacre at the beginning of June 1989. The writing moves to Bali and to Vietnam and to Dublin where he was a student of Irish literature and working on his first novel manuscript.
I especially enjoyed the pieces about language and listening to the music and rhythm of accents as well as the more provocative pieces chronicling his time in south east Asia, an area for which he clearly has a passion.
Charles Foran is the authorized biographer of Canadian novelist Mordecai Richler and that book MORDECAI RICHLER: A LIFE will be published later in 2010 by Knopf.
Visit his website: www.charlesforan.com to learn more about his other books.