What we're about

This is a group for Mandarin speakers, Mandarin learners, and the Mando-curious. All levels are welcome.

I am a Mandarin tutor, translator, and author, and this group includes a China book club, a film society, trips to Chinese restaurants, karaoke and more.

Upcoming events (4+)

China Book Club: 'Wild Swans' by Jung Chang

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'Wild Swans' tells the story of three generations of women in Jung Chang's own family. These are the grandmother who was a concubine with bound feet, the mother who fought the Japanese and then for the Communists in the civil war, and finally the author herself. This book reveals the epic history of China's twentieth century, and was one of the earliest books published in English to reveal the brutal realities of Maoist China.

China Book Club: 'The Sisters Mao' by Gavin McCrea

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During China's Cultural Revolution and Europe's sexual revolution, the fates of two families on opposite sides of the world become strangely intertwined.

In London, two sisters plan to sabotage their mother's West End performance as the lead in Miss Julie; in Beijing, Jiang Qing, Madame Mao rehearses a performance of her ballet, which she will use to attack her political enemies.

As the preparations for these two performances unfold, the three women find themselves bound together by love, power and the forces of history.

China Book Club: 'Cocoon' by Zhang Yueran

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Cheng Gong and Li Jiaqi grew up together in Jinan, capital of North China's Shandong Province in the 1980s. Decades later, the childhood friends reunite to follow the tracks of their grandparents' generation to the heart of a mystery that has ricocheted across the generations.

What exactly happened during that rainy night in 1967 in the abandoned water tower? A story of generational trauma, as one character observes: “As far back as I can remember, I’ve always known my father didn’t love my mother … I thought marriage must be like our school uniform … it never fit properly but you still had to wear it.”

China Book Club: 'Empire of the Sun' by JG Ballard

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Heavily based on JG Ballard's own childhood experiences, 'Empire of the Sun' is about a young boy surviving World War 2 in East Asia, including years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, and a march for survival while people around him are dropping dead.

JG Ballard's inimitable style was inspired by his traumatic early life. Philosopher John Gray said of him: "Ballard spent 20 years forgetting what he had seen during his childhood, he said more than once, and another 20 remembering. His fiction was a product of this process, an inner alchemy that turned the dross of senseless suffering into something beautiful and life-affirming."

The China Book Club is a semi-structured chat and everybody is free to join

Past events (78)

China Book Club: 'To Live' by Yu Hua

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