Isham Cook

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Isham Cook

Goodreads Author


Born
in Chicago, The United States
Website

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Influences
Ballard, Beckett, Borges, Dick, Kafka, Hesse, Melville, Mishima, Sade ...more

Member Since
January 2012

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American novelist and essayist based in China since 1994. Writing philosophy: downmarket, big concept, provocative, discriminating, outrageous. Kirkus Reviews calls my second novel The Kitchens of Canton "poignant...language barriers abound, with dialogue in Cantonese, Italian, and Latin, but Cook isn’t merely interested in verbal language—body language, customs and rituals, and symbols are also on full display. The book also explores Americans’ complicated relationship with sex, juxtaposing it against their seemingly comfortable relationships with weapons and violence. An insightful, unconventional, and risqué view of present-day culture."
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Isham Cook I call it "writer's logjam"--too many ideas get tangled up and need to be painstakingly sorted out. It's hard work at times, more with argumentative t…moreI call it "writer's logjam"--too many ideas get tangled up and need to be painstakingly sorted out. It's hard work at times, more with argumentative than narrative writing. I need to devote a whole morning or afternoon exclusively to breaking up the logjam. No other way around it.(less)
Isham Cook You can exorcise your demons and trap them in bound paper.
Average rating: 4.33 · 1,727 ratings · 139 reviews · 8 distinct worksSimilar authors
The Mustachioed Woman of Sh...

4.34 avg rating — 769 ratings3 editions
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Confucius and Opium: China ...

4.38 avg rating — 399 ratings3 editions
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The Kitchens of Canton

4.34 avg rating — 237 ratings3 editions
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American Rococo: Essays on ...

4.24 avg rating — 243 ratings — published 2017 — 4 editions
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At the Teahouse Cafe: Essay...

4.06 avg rating — 33 ratings — published 2015 — 3 editions
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Lust & Philosophy

really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 18 ratings — published 2012 — 8 editions
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Massage and the Writer

4.33 avg rating — 12 ratings — published 2014 — 13 editions
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The Exact Unknown and Other...

4.06 avg rating — 16 ratings — published 2014 — 9 editions
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More books by Isham Cook…

The Mustachioed Woman of Shanghai. A novel.

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It is the Shanghai of courtesans and concubines, danger and decadence, updated to 2020. American expat author Isham Cook has disappeared. His last known history is chronicled by an exotic woman who seems right out of 1930s Shanghai herself, Marguerite, a mustachioed Afghan-American who weaves Persian rugs and deals in psychedelics. As she tells it, Isham’s story all began with Lun

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Published on October 21, 2020 09:00

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Isham Cook is now friends with Katya Knyazeva
Isham Cook rated a book it was amazing
Giving Godhead by Dylan Krieger
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A couple THC-infused IPAs should put me into a loopy-enough frame of mind to approach this strange poetic animal sideways. If I’m having trouble making sense of the title, it’s because my superego has already repressed its import; but it is indeed a ...more
Isham Cook rated a book it was amazing
Hong Kong Noir by Jason Y. Ng
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For starters I’d say a more apt title for this collection of tales set in Hong Kong than the redundant “Noir” would have been the upbeat “Hong Kong Fantasy” or “Hong Kong Rhapsody” or the like, only to drag the reader ironically down to the gritty re ...more
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Good Chinese Wife by Susan Blumberg-Kason
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Before buying a book I look at the long customer reviews in the 3-4 star as well as 5-star range (indicating the customer actually read the book and took it seriously enough to write the review), to get a more honest appraisal than the editorial revi ...more
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An American Bum in China by Tom  Carter
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by Tom Carter (Goodreads Author)
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There is a lazy, hidebound assumption that people who work as English teachers abroad lack the qualifications to hack out a career back home, and it's the only job the "losers" and "bottom feeders" can find. But it's a hackneyed cliché, one that obsc ...more
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“But the outcome was inevitable: she assumed you would not take no for an answer; she could already see your charming smile morph into the grimace of a rabid dog. To”
Isham Cook, Lust and Philosophy

“Andrew Solomon, in his book The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression, traces the links between addiction and depression, which frequently co-occur, as well as the intimate relationship between depression and anxiety. He quotes an expert on anxiety who suggests we should think of the two disorders as “fraternal twins”: “Depression is a response to past loss, and anxiety is a response to future loss.” Both reflect a mind mired in rumination, one dwelling on the past, the other worrying about the future. What mainly distinguishes the two disorders is their tense.”
Michael Pollan, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence

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