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Li Lovett's Blog

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Jan.09.2014
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There were three little beds in Zhu Ma's bedroom, in a drafty, Tibetan-style wooden house where I had invited myself for the night. She allowed me to sleep in her bed, while she took the bed of her son who was away in school. The third belonged to her late husband; the bed was covered with mosquito...
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Jul.16.2013
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Here's my next spoof on scams - they don't just come from Nigeria anymore! (This is based on actual reports of for-profit college fraud which runs rampant in the U.S. Check out Senator Harkin's report.) June 1st: Dear Applicant:You clicked on that link like an expert! Sounds like you want to get a...
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Mar.11.2013
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This is the first of my glimpses into scams in the vein of the Nigerian email; call them lessons on how strangers can prey on our desires. (How could our moms have warned us?)  These exchanges with our "Nigerian" seducers may be closer to home than you think!   P.S. Can you...
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Oct.28.2012
China finally got the Nobel Laureate it wanted - not the dissident who remains in jail, nor the writer living in exile for decades. As a fan of Mo Yan from the other side of the Pacific, I'm thrilled because the novelist comes from Shandong, the same province as my father. Mo Yan's fiction is...
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Sep.13.2012
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I wrote this thirty years ago, on September 13th, in the age of Flashdance, Material Girl, and Ronald Reagan, in the roaring eighties before anyone had heard of the Internet or shared their lives on Facebook. In these pointers to my future self, I tried to meld the best of Confucius and Plato and...
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Sep.13.2012
I wrote this thirty years ago, on September 13th, in the age of Flashdance, Material Girl, and Ronald Reagan, in the roaring eighties before anyone had heard of the Internet or shared their lives on Facebook. In these pointers to my future self, I tried to meld the best of Confucius and Plato and...
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Jun.13.2012
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There’s an old family video where my brother-in-law wrangles my husband to the ground again and again. I can picture the young man with his Andy Gibb hair spilling out of his cap, swinging that lasso with a sure arm, and before you could say – “Cowboy bites the dust” – my husband has done a face...
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Feb.14.2012
In the Lap of the Gods
We stood in the middle of a deserted parking lot, a few miles past the Yosemite National Park entrance. My friend handed my son the lantern, which cast a soothing glow into the coal black darkness. She was itching for a short hike to the falls, but my four-year-old knew he’d have none of it. We’d...
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Dec.20.2011
In the Lap of the Gods
On the way to my first March on Wall Street in San Francisco, I ask a cop for directions. “Excuse me, do you know the way to the Federal Reserve?” With all the ruckus over Occupy Oakland across the bay, I wonder if he might arrest me preemptively. Instead, he gives me directions, although I end up...
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Aug.31.2011
In the Lap of the Gods
I bought my last book at Borders tonight. It won't be long before the store closing signs come down, and the store gets shuttered along with the rest of the chain. My nearest Borders had a homey feeling, from college students camped in the café to 30-somethings playing Dungeons...
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May.31.2011
IN THE LAP OF THE GODS
“Do they have lollipops here?” my son asks when we arrive at the ER. It’s our second night in Las Vegas, and he has taken a tumble from the stairs. Not what we had in mind for vacation at his grandparents’ – but in the Saint Rose emergency room you get to see another side of life in Sin City. Not...
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Apr.05.2011
In the Lap of the Gods
Last weekend, I was telling audiences on the West Coast that my book would likely be banned in China for its scenes of peasant protests. “Does anyone have connections to publish it underground?” No one raised their hand; a few smiled. That Sunday, Ai Weiwei, the famed artist that China’s...
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Feb.28.2011
In the Lap of the Gods
With all the Borders stores closing, I’m having an About Schmidt moment. That’s when I head out to places that (almost) feel like home, only to find they’ve disappeared. Okay, maybe “home” isn’t quite the right analogy to describe a corporate-owned bookstore. But stepping into a big box store does...
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Feb.18.2011
In the Lap of the Gods
Caught up in the buzz over e-books, we are staking the preservation of knowledge on a medium more fragile and troublesome than paper. In the basement of our 1922 Edwardian, we discovered crumpled copies of the San Francisco Chronicle used as insulation. The newspaper was a window into a bygone era...
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Feb.07.2011
In the Lap of the Gods
At six, my father fled his native land for good, when the Communists took over all of China. He lived through a time of terror, the Japanese barrage of bombs from the east, the civil war between a growing Communist party that incited angry peasants to revolt and a corrupt Nationalist government...
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