Boekhandel van Rossum launches its first Book Club evening in English: about and with Karen Kao. On Thursday August 31st ms Kao will lead a discussion about her novel The dancing girl and the turtle. You are most welcome to attend. Admission is free. Please let us know if you want to participate via or 020-4707077.

Song Anyi is on the road to Shanghai and freedom when she is raped and left for dead. The family silence and shame that meet her courageous survival drive Anyi to escalating self-harm and prostitution. From opium dens to high-class brothels, Anyi dances on the edge of destruction while China prepares for war with Japan. Hers is the voice of every woman who fights for independence against overwhelming odds.

This elegant novel breaks barriers with its brutally honest account of the courtesan culture in 1930s Shanghai. In a searing portrayal of women as commodities, we trace the journey of Song Anyi, a rebellious young woman thwarted by her conventional family, the social mores of the day and the war with the Japanese that is about to engulf China.