Thursday, October 4, 2007

Chatav Ectabit's own website

I posted a long story about Chatav Ectabit, a creative partnership between my brother Cliff Fong and Sandy Dalal, over a couple of weeks in April and May 2007 (see archive). In a world where fashion—according to author Dana Thomas has “sacrificed its integrity, undermined its products, tarnished its history and hoodwinked its consumers,” their clothing provides a thoughtful remnant of luxury.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Shanghai, revisited

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I wrote most of a chapter for Explorer Publishing’s Complete Residents' Guide to Shanghai. Most of what appears on pp. 168–194 and 204–224 is my work. As far as I can tell, the full Residents' Guide is not yet available at, but you can order the Shanghai Mini Explorer, due out this month.

Home from Mongolia

Now that the taimen season has ended in Mongolia, I’m back in Vermont sifting through notes and photographs. After each long day on the river, I didn’t read as much as usual, but two books deserve your attention.

David Malouf’s novel, An Imaginary Life, offers the sort of sentences that you’ll quote to yourself in times of trouble, such as: “What is beautiful is the way one thing is fitted perfectly to another, and our ingenuity is also beautiful in finding the necessary correspondence between things. It is a kind of poetry, all this business with nets and hooks, these old analogies.”

The other book, Harry Middleton’s The Earth is Enough, was taken on loan from an old friend. It’s nominally about flyfishing but rather more concerned with family, and memory, and the escape from memory. I found it frustrating to read, almost maddeningly in need of a close edit, and peculiarly moving.