Last week, I visited the site of the two-month Hong Kong occupation known as the Umbrella Revolution. In recent days, in violent clashes with the students, police have begun to dismantle a secondary site at Mong Kok. Yet this encampment, which has blocked traffic in the main city square for nine weeks , still stands.
STEALING ATHENA, my novel about the 2300 year journey of the contrversial Elgin Marbles, is written from the perspectives of two of history’s most fascinating women. Now, another fascinating women, Amal Alamuddin Clooney, has joined the legal team arguing for restoration of the marbles (aka The Parthenon Sculptures) to Greece. It’s a complex issue with a long history, and I hope Mrs. Clooney can help move it forward in a constructive way. Please read on…
WHO OWNS ART? WHO OWNS DEMOCRACY?
KAREN ESSEX, TRAVELLING FOR DRACULA IN LOVE, OR HOW TO ADD NEW GEOGRAPHY TO AN OLD STORY AND RELOCATE A VAMPIRE
Readers often tell me that they take my novels on holiday as travel and history guides. I love giving readers an experience on the page, but I love it even more when they are inspired to leave their armchairs and experience the characters and the history firsthand. As an historical novelist, nothing informs my work like travel. I love to walk in my characters’ footsteps, breathing in the air that they breathed, literally sharing molecules with them.
Anyone who is sad about the fact that the Morsi government was toppled, especially my fellow liberals from the US who think that getting rid of this man was a strike against democracy, please read this article. This is not Fox News propaganda but the results of a study done by a venerable Muslim institution. Despite his election promises, Morsi and his associates wanted to tele-transport Egypt to some imagined golden age when women were household slaves and breeding machines, banned from every aspect of public life.
I won’t be going back to Egypt. I would also totally support withdrawing ANY financial assistance to that country. Those might be strange statements from someone who’s written two books about Kleopatra and clearly loves the country and its history. Let me explain.
I am sharing herewith in its entirety a report from CNN’s blog about the recent gang rapes in Egypt. Historically, women of the conquered were raped by the victors as part of the “prize” of winning a war and to assert supremacy over, and humiliate and shame, the losers. That reflected a savage mentality to be sure, but the recent rapes in Egypt are more frightening because they are coldly calculated to terrify and suppress half the population. The message to Egypt’s women: Stay out of public life. If you show your face, you’re asking for it. The message to foreign countries and institutions: send us females and this is how we will deal with them.