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Tag: Toji

Richard Ford – The Sportswriter [Review]

This is a book review done backwards. Most people read the book first, then if they’re lucky, they get to meet or even interview the author. I had the fortune of meeting Richard Ford before reading any of his work. I just finished one of his early works, The Sportswriter, which was published to great acclaim in 1986 (which is also the year my novel begins and one reason why I picked up this book).

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On Prophecies

Do you believe in fortune tellers? I’m feeling a little low after a flurry of rejections, so I’m just going to talk to myself here.

Once upon a time, around the time I was born, my mom saw a fortune teller in Hong Kong.

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Personal comforts

What is this strange thing that happens with age? In my teens I could just pop a few things in a backpack and walk out of the house to explore the world. Which I did, at eighteen and again at nineteen, backpacking around China. The latter trip was with two older boys, a schoolmate and his friend, and we spent three months traveling from Hong Kong to Guilin, taking the long overnight train past Guizhou to Yunnan, where we spent nearly a month, on to Sichuan, and after which we parted on different routes. Many years later I met that schoolmate again, and oddly enough, we had both moved on to work in private equity. He mentioned a trip he had taken a few years ago to remote Mongolia, staying in very basic accommodations, and moving the very next morning to a luxury hotel because he was too uncomfortable.

“Cannot already lah,” he said. “I need my material comforts.”

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A Room with a View

The first hint of dawn filters through the green gold crepe curtains, in the distance a rooster crows. Anticipation and anxiety wakes me at six in the morning even though I would like to sleep in; it is my first day as Writer in Residence at the Toji Cultural Centre in Wonju, South Korea.

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