So my book about the plague is a victim of coronavirus…

According to my publisher, my first novel is now waiting in some printing queue in China, one small item lost in the general shutdown resulting from the coronavirus. Ironically, “The Lacquered Talisman” focuses on how the Zhu family dealt with the contagion of their era: the plague. When the day comes that I am able to hold a copy of my book in my own hands, I will feel a measure of relief that the current contagion is subsiding. Until then, my thoughts are with all those in China dealing with this crisis.

Here is how Zhu Yuanzhang wrote about the impact of contagion on his family: Continue reading

Oct 21 marks 691 years since birth of Ming founder

October 21 marks the 691st birthday of Zhu Yuanzhang, founder of China’s Ming Dynasty.
He was born (on what corresponds to Oct. 21 on our modern calendar) in 1328, founded the Ming Dynasty in 1368, and died in 1398.
To be more specific, he was born in an Earth Dragon year on the 18th day of the 9th month of the 1st year of the Tianli 天曆 reign of the Mongol Yuan Dynasty’s Wenzong 元文宗 Emperor Tugh Temur.
The youngest son in a large family, the Ming founder grew up in northern Anhui Province. His own writings describe his parents as hard-working peasants who “endured the hardships of agriculture, working day and night, always worrying.”
His family background and unlikely rise from goat herder to Buddhist monk to Red Turban rebel is the subject of the first volume in my historical fiction series on the Ming founding. “The Lacquered Talisman” is currently in final production with the Hong Kong-based Earnshaw Books publishing house.