Saturday, September 10, 2011

A return trip to Lisa Brackmann's Chinese half-world

Lisa Brackmann's second novel will take its protagonist to Mexico, but that book is not due until spring 2012, so for now I'll think of Brackmann as an old China hand. Her first book, Rock, Paper, Tiger, is set there; she's a frequent visitor to Shanghai (where she finds Starbucks a welcome refuge); and, if I recall correctly, she'll return to China for her third novel.

Here's some of what I wrote last year about her first:
"Rock, Paper, Tiger offers some of the most unexpected views you're likely to get of China short of visiting and hanging out with its squatters, scene-makers, disaffected artists, and others who struggle to stay one step ahead of the country's ruthless capitalistic socialistic-with-Chinese-characteristics wrecking ball."
Everyone know that China is the new economic giant, the titan of state-sponsored capitalism, and so on. Everyone knows, too, about the country's party apparatchiks and new entrepreneurs. But what of the folks who are neither of the old China nor eager members of the new? That's the world Brackmann writes about, and that's the world I'll quiz her about next week, when she makes her second appearance on a Bouchercon panel moderated by your humble blogkeeper.
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Lisa Brackmann will be part of my “NEVER LET ME GO: PASSPORT TO MURDER” panel on Saturday, Sept. 17, 1 p.m., at Bouchercon 2011.

© Peter Rozovsky 2011

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10 Comments:

Anonymous kathy d. said...

Can't wait to hear about these infamous panels, and will check out Brackman's first book, Rock, Paper, Tiger.

It sounds intriguing. It's about neither the "old" China nor those who "embrace the new China."

September 10, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kathy, the book's protagonist is an an investigator at loose ends, more or less stranded. A lot of the action takes place among clandestine artists, odd video gamers, folks who hold exhibitions in old buildings that wind up getting knocked down for development. It's an interesting milieu, especially for China. That's not the sort of scene one imagines being present there.

September 10, 2011  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

That does sound interesting.

The only crime fiction I've read which had a setting in China was Mankell's The Man from Beijing. I enjoyed that book and it made me think more about some of China's economic development.

But this sounds worth reading.

Am now reading Hotel Bosphorus, intrigued by the Istanbul setting. However, it's about a German woman who lives there, and I was anticipating reading about a Turkish protagonist.

It's light-weight, not much, but enjoyable nevertheless, witty. No intellectual challenges though.

September 10, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I recommend Death of a Red Heroine by Qiu Xiaolong for all readers, especially those looking for crime ficiton set in China.

September 10, 2011  
Anonymous Harvee/Book Dilettante said...

I'll have to look up this book - Rock, Paper, Tiger! I've read and liked Qiu Xiaolong also. Enjoy Boucheron!

September 10, 2011  
Blogger Other Lisa said...

Looking forward to another great panel, Peter!

Lisa Brackmann

September 10, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks, H/BD. I'd like to see Lisa Brackmann and Qiu Xiaolong on a panel together. Attendees would learn much about life in China.

September 10, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Lisa, I'll be back with a satisying mix of your old favorites and some 100% all-new questions! And no guns!

September 10, 2011  
Anonymous kathy d. said...

Just an fyi: A topic of blog discussion a few months ago was authors in the Arab world.

A piece in the New York Times Book Review is entitled: Arab Springs: Literary Rebels. It mentions several Egyptian writers and Akhbar al-Adab, a literary journal which "pulls in yuonger writers ... [and] makes a point of publishing writers drawn from Yemen, Libya and Syria."

It's quite an interesting article. It doesn't specifically mention crime fiction, but is informative nevertheless.

September 10, 2011  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Thanks. I'll take a look.

September 10, 2011  

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