Novelist Karen Kao will be giving a special master class for us on Sunday, 22 July from 17:00 – 18:30 at Boekhandel van Rossum, Beethovenstraat 32, 1077 JH Amsterdam. Reception with wine and cheese to follow.

In conversation with our director Sarah Carriger, Kao will discuss technique in her debut novel The Dancing Girl and the Turtle. It’s the first in a quartet of novels set in Shanghai, spanning the tumultuous period from 1929 to 1954. You can hear Kao reading the opening pages of the novel in this video from our Spring Reading.

We’ll also be speaking more generally about the writing and publishing process. Some of the topics we’ll cover: research and the challenges of writing historical fiction, how to tackle violent material, deciding who gets a voice in your story and combining multiple points of view in a single work, creating a multi-book arc, and what it’s like to quit your job to write. There will be plenty of room for your questions. And to keep the inspiration going, we’ll send you home with an exercise based on the novel.

Stay afterwards to get your book signed and mingle with other writers over wine and cheese in Boekhandel van Rossum’s lovely garden.

To get the most out of the class we recommend you read the novel in advance. You can purchase your copy at Boekhandel van Rossum or online from most major booksellers (available in print and ebook formats).


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Sarah Carriger, Director
Tel: +31 6 45950359

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