It’s a difficult task, writing about a country that is yet to appear on many printed maps. This is compounded when you’re writing as a foreigner, representing a foreign perspective that sees the new country mainly in terms of conflict and uncertainty.

It can also be argued that an outsider mining a newly independent country for fiction is doing a disservice to the authors from that country, whose own voices should be primary. Yet, fiction remains one of the most accessible ways that most people will come to learn about the country’s culture. And one unfortunate reality of Anglophone publishing is, blockbuster authors like Stieg Larsson aside, much literature written in other languages isn’t translated into English, or is published only in small print runs.

More… “Write Outside”

Christine Ro’s writing about books, music, and other topics is collected at


I’ve become a Julian Assange man. Leak away, Julian. Leak it all, leak everything. Leak whatever you can until they find a way to shut you down for good.


At first, I was not sure how to feel about the recent dump of classified documents at WikiLeaks. I could see the arguments on both sides. I understand that we are the owners of a flawed and imperfect world within which no one owns a pair of those proverbial clean hands. No, we have a dirty world of infinite compromise. We muddle through, more or less, and the women and men who do the muddling, at the international level, are, more often than not, engaged in a tricky business. Human beings have a hard enough time being moral agents. For nation states, the task is well nigh impossible. And… More…