Author Archives: Mark Swofford

Japanese Samurai vs. the Chinese Dragon

In the introduction to You Don’t Know China, John Ross notes the plethora of books on China that have “dragon” in the title. Yup, “dragon” has become something of a cliché in books about China, as “samurai” tends to get overused in books about Japan — though at least in the case of samurai they […]

Koxinga vs. the Dutch on Formosa: a book from 1675

This title doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue: ‘t Verwaerloosde Formosa, of waerachtig verhael, hoedanigh door verwaerloosinge der Nederlanders in Oost-Indien, het eylant Formosa, van den Chinesen mandorijn, ende zeeroover Coxinja, overrompelt, vermeestert, ende ontweldight is geworden…. So Camphor Press probably won’t be reprinting it a new English edition. But even so — and even […]

The Kiss of Lady X: a new film by Camphor Press author T.C. Lin (T.C. Locke)

This is a busy week for T.C. Locke (a.k.a. T.C. Lin). There’s an exhibition in Hangzhou, China of his photos. Camphor Press has just issued his terrific new book, Barbarian at the Gate: From the American Suburbs to the Taiwanese Army. And, what’s more, his movie The Kiss of Lady X will have its premiere […]

The Vermilion Pencil

Michael Turton recently noted that the ashes of Homer Lea are interred in Taipei’s Beitou District. Lea was an all-around colorful character and an adviser to Sun Yat-sen. He was also the author of a pretty awful melodramatic novel, The Vermilion Pencil; a Romance of China (1908). Here’s a selection. Enjoy! The Bay of Tai Wan, […]