Daily Archives: December 26, 2005

Saving Fish From Drowning – Book Reviews – Books – Entertainment –

tan.gifLook again at what Amy Tan has to say about writing in The Opposite of Fate (2003). There are many wonderful essays in that collection. My Hong Kong Australian coachees very much enjoyed “Arrival Banquet”, which I shared with them as a possible supplementary text for the HSC “Journeys” unit. Ben said it was SO Chinese! And Tan is indeed a great mediator between cultures, with a humorous but empathic eye.

She also has a sharp pen when needed. Irony is implicit in the quasi-magical narrative method of Saving Fish from Dying (2005) with its multifaceted examination of cultural (mis)understandings and questioning of tourism — among other things. “Writing with stinging irony about oppression, genocide, culture clashes, religion, media spin, and corruption, [Tan] slyly considers the unintended consequences of everything from a thwarted seduction to a war based on lies.” (Donna Seaman in Booklist 1 Sep 2005.)

A couple of quotes:
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Posted by on December 26, 2005 in America, Asian, Chinese and China, Fiction, immigration, Multicultural, Thriller, Top read, writers


Saving Fish From Drowning by Amy Tan: Reviews

This is what I am reading at the moment. The reviews on the above site — seventeen of them — show only one really unfavourable, with three saying it is outstanding. I am enjoying it so far, unusual as it is to have a dead narrator…

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Scholars Scrutinize the Koran’s Origin

This is very interesting, and something that really needs to be fearlessly embraced in my view. There is no reason for Muslims to fear for the essential principles of their faith in such a pursuit, even though it must be said that the status of the Qu’ran is even more critical in Islam than that of the Bible in Judaism and Christianity.

The author of that piece linked above is Alexander Stille. I am currently reading his The Future of the Past (2002), “a fascinating journey through Egypt, China, Sicily, Somalia, India, Madagascar.” This is a really wise book, if wisdom consists in the ability to get beyond ideological baggage and see ambiguities. As John Freeman says:
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Posted by on December 26, 2005 in Africa, America, book reviews, Europe, faith and philosophy, globalisation/corporations, History, Islam, Postcolonial, writers