Author Archives: bloglarb

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Xi Jinping’s Peculiar Packaging of the May 4th Spirit

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By Rebecka Eriksson Early this month, Chinese top leader Xi Jinping made a high profile visit to China’s most prestigious university.  While there, he had photographs taken with students and gave a speech that showcased, in revealing and sometimes bizarre ways, his penchant for drawing inspiration from a dizzyingly diverse array of parts of his […]


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A Trip Back to Beijing — Courtesy of Xu Zechen and Eric Abrahamsen

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By Megan Shank Step out of the Beijing airport, and taste the tang in the air. For the remainder of your time in the capital, it will linger, metallic, on the back of your tongue. Is it burning plastic? Coal? The sweat of migrant workers who have come to chase dreams and money? The boozy […]

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Out Of Body: Freedom, Chaos, and Puppetry in A Midsummer Night’s Dream

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By Emily Hunt My first experience with A Midsummer Night’s Dream was watching Michael Hoffman’s 1999 film production. I’m sure the visually gorgeous cast had something to do with it – what 12-year-old girl can ignore the charms of Michelle Pfieffer, Rupert Everette, and Christian Bale? – but it was more than that: something entirely […]

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Letter from the Chairman of the Board

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Help Us Make History Several years ago, Tom Lutz, the founding editor of LARB, and I sat down to lunch to discuss a gleam in his eye: The Los Angeles Review of Books. Listening to Tom describe his vision, I experienced a “EUREKA!” moment. LARB was a brilliant idea whose time had come. From that […]


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Reading Middlemarch in Jiangxi

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By Mengfei Chen Is it still a truth universally acknowledged that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife? Perhaps he’d rather spend that fortune on bottle service and club bunnies. Certainly, modern day Lily Barts need not die young, alone and poor because they nixed a […]

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Letter from Central Idaho: 20 Years of Iconoclastic Bookselling

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By Sarah Hedrick Pictured above: Sarah and Gary, owners of Iconoclast Books in Ketchum, Idaho, appreciating the view. Six years ago this month, Gary Hunt, owner of Iconoclast Books in Ketchum, Idaho, was killed in a car accident on his way home from one of the frequent events hosted in his store. He left behind […]


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The Brief and Wondrous Life of California Bookstore Day

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The Naked Bookseller is proud to present the story behind California Bookstore Day (this Saturday May 3rd) — a grand notion incubated at the Bay Area’s legendary Green Apple bookstore, recipient of Publisher Weekly’s 2014 Independent Bookstore of the Year Award. By Samantha Schoech When you tell people you own a bookstore (or in my […]


The China Blog Mary Guo, April 15, 2014 -- in Beijing

What Do Chinese Women Want?

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Photo: Mary Guo in Beijing, April 15, 2014. By Lu-Hai Liang Let’s start with Mary. Well that’s her English name anyway. We met seven years ago in Yangshuo, a pretty little town in southern China where she was studying English. I liked her sparky personality and sense of fun, and we became friends. I was teaching […]


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A Letter from the Editor in Chief

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Dear LARB Supporters: Last week we celebrated the third anniversary of our first review, on our temporary Tumblr site, and the second anniversary of our official launch. In those three years, we have published 1,275 reviews, 985 essays, 435 interviews, 22 ebooks, 5 tabloid print magazines, and 3 quarterly print journals. We have produced 60 […]


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The China Blog A Mao Zedong statue in the city center of Chengdu, China. The 30-meter statue, one of the few that are still displayed in so prominent a public space, was built after the third-century palace of the Shu Kingdom on that site was razed by Red Guards during the Cultural Revolution (1966–1976). Below the statue is an air raid shelter.  © Tong Lam

Goodbye, Chiang!

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By Tong Lam One of the most iconic scenes in the 2003 German tragicomedy film Goodbye, Lenin!, which depicts drastic changes in daily life in the former East Germany soon after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, is a gigantic Lenin statue being flown away by a helicopter over East Berlin. Indeed, the end of […]