Chop Suey, a murder mystery, is available on Amazon.com in both print and Kindle digital versions.
The book’s name derives from the popular overseas Chinese dish made with a variety of meat, eggs and vegetables—‘mixed bits’, according to the Random House Dictionary. That, said Kalb, also describes the China of today: ‘a mish mash—a chop suey—of free-market capitalism, Leninist political control, modern-day consumerism and spectacular economic progress alongside staggering levels of corruption.’
The novel comes exactly 50 years after Mao Zedong launched the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution, and touches on Chinese culture, tradition, superstition, language, art, cuisine and modern history, exploring the complex relationships between the country, its people, and Hong Kong.
‘The book is aimed at anyone interested in this dynamic part of the world—or anyone who simply enjoys a good read,’ Kalb said. ‘It will incidentally give my former students a chance to see if I practice what I preach about good writing.’
Barry Kalb taught basic reporting and writing skills to hundreds of JMSC graduates over his nine years at the JMSC. He retired from full-time teaching at the centre in 2014.