Shortlisted for the University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award 2015
The title of Nicholas Jose’s new collection of stories refers to a form of Chinese painting that tricks the eye into thinking what it sees is a collage of fragments. Bapo literally means ‘eight broken’, where eight is a Chinese lucky number and ‘broken’ implies that luck has run out – though the term also suggests that there’s another kind of luck, in simply surviving, and being able to hold the pieces of one’s life together in some sort of order.
Jose’s stories feature a cast of characters affected by time or chance in different ways, artists, diplomats, entrepreneurs, immigrants, families at the crossroads. Many explore Australia’s relationship to China or have echoes of China in them; others dwell on the qualities of memory, resilience, play and adventure – qualities which are implicit in the form of bapo, and characteristic of Jose’s writing as a whole.
Print ISBN : 978-1-922146-63-2
pp : 200
Nicholas Jose was Cultural Counsellor at the Australian Embassy in Beijing from 1987 to 1990, at a vital moment in China’s history, and has played an important role in artistic relations between the two countries since then. He is the author of seven highly regarded novels, three of which, Avenue of Eternal Peace, The Rose Crossing and The Red Thread, deal with Chinese subjects, as does his collection of essays Chinese Whispers. He was general editor of the Macquarie PEN Anthology of Australian Literature and is Professor of Creative Writing at Adelaide University.
Visit Nicholas Jose’s official website here.