Friday, March 27, 2009

Edward C. Patterson Interviewed by Amanda Young

I gave an Interview on Amanda Young's Romance website, complete with excerpts and covers. Come take a look and let me know what you think.

Edward C. Patterson

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bobby's Trace NOW Nine-nine Cents on the Kindle

I am pleased to announce that for a limited time only I have reduced the price of my Kindle Novel:

Bobby's Trace (4 1/2 stars - 11 reviewers)
now available on for $ .99 (NINETY-NINE CENTS)

Do ghosts mourn the living? Perry Chaplin is in mourning for his life partner, Bobby - a time of stress, notwithstanding. The more he drifts, the more he becomes unhinged until he's one room short of a rubber one. "Get a grip, Perry." So he takes his chances on a blind date, which further plunges him along the nightmare highway. He gets an unsought lesson in life-after-death that turns his bereavement into a horrific adventure. Come peek through Perry Chaplin's mysterious window. See what there is to see. Enter Our Lady of Perpetual Grace, where the holy water boils and the confessionals whisper. What lurks in the rectory's attic? What lies beneath the surface of life and death? What comes in Bobby's - in Bobby's trace? Do ghosts mourn the living? Perry Chaplin knows. Will you?

Edward C. Patterson
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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Southern Swallow and His “Cut-Sleeve” Affair

I received an inquiry from a reader of The Academician about the use of the term "cut-sleeve affair" when referring to homosexuality during the Sung (Song) Dynasty (12th Century) China, the setting for the novel. Perhaps I should have added a footnote in the book. However, the work is a "novel," not a textbook. Although the term, and another one, "sharing a peach," are clear in their application, I owe the non-sinological world an explanation.

Homosexuality in China has been regarded variously during its long and eventful history. Unlike in the West, none of China’s traditional religions and philosophy regards homosexuality as a sin. However, in an agrarian Confucian society, there are certain obligations within relationships that homosexuality precludes — procreation being one. Homosexuality is not the only area that has been evaluated in light of fulfilling one’s obligations to produce children. Buddhism has been subject to a similar and, actually greater hostility, until it modulated into its particularly Chinese brand of the religion. During Ancient times (Warring States and Han), homosexuality wasn’t necessarily accepted, but it was broad based enough on the Imperial level that it was hard to ignore. The term "sharing a peach" came into vogue after a young man, Mi Tzi-xia, offered Duke Ling of the State of Wei a partially eaten, but juicy peach as an entrĂ©e to a same-sex relationship. More famous, and as such a more widely applied term, came with the young Emperor Ai, the last Western Han Emperor (9 CE), whose male concubine, Tung Xien, was prominent at court. As the Han Histories state it, Tung Xien fell asleep in Ai-tsung’s arms and, rather than disturb his sleep, the Emperor had his robe sleeves cut away in order to depart. This term for homosexual relationships — a "cut sleeve affair" entered into common parlance since.

During the Sung (Song) Dynasty, the period of The Academician, there was ambivalence about "cut-sleeve affairs." In the novel (as it would be in life), Li K’ai-men does his Confucian duty, marries and cohabitates with his wife and produces two sons, as it should be. His male lover, Fu Lin-t’o, finds himself in a strange limbo between Li’s love and his place in the Confucian order of things. He is not discriminated against and becomes part of the household, but still finds prejudices at every turn, even in the feng-shui notions of keeping heaven balanced. The Southern Swallow series is built around the long life of this cut-sleeve affair and its resilience against all odds. Homosexuality, as open and common, reached its zenith during the Ming Dynasty, when the court was as gay as King Frederick of Prussia’s. There was also a brand of same-sex marriage in Fu-ch’ien Province referred to as "Fu-ch’ien Marriages." With the Manchu conquest in 1640 under the Ch’ing (Qing) Dynasty, homosexuality was dealt a blow. Anything suggesting Ming hedony was suppressed by the more conservative conquerors. While the Ch’ing were importing Western cannon and clocks, they also were importing Jesuit views on homosexuality. In 1740, the K’ang-xi Emperor proscribed homosexuality and it was criminalized (not by death, but with strokes with the bamboo rod). There has been much debate as to whether the new laws were enforced. Still, homosexuality was criminalized in China until 1997 and in Hong Kong until the repatriation in 2000.

So from earliest times to the present, China has had a different view of homosexuality than the rest of the world. It was never a wholesale endorsement, but like many other social institutions, it was required to conform to strict societal relationships, which it did better than some other peculiar Chinese dishes like Buddhism (an Indian import). The euphemisms "a cut-sleeve affair" and "sharing a peach" were used in polite reference, not like Western euphemisms (light in the sneakers etc.). One of my aims, amongst others, in authoring The Academician was to develop a tung-xing-lien (companionable relationship – the Chinese word for homosexuality) during a more enlightened age. The novels span between 1124 – 1172 CE, a time when Western civilization was searching through the mud for its sandals and homosexuality was punishable by lighting the fires and burning the sinners.

Edward C. Patterson
More information on The Aacdemician

Monday, March 2, 2009

Press Release on The Academician

After 30 Year in the Making, Patterson's The Academician is to be released on March 9th

The author of Jade Owl Legacy Series, Edward C. Patterson, is releasing the first book in the Southern Swallow Series - The Academician on March 9th, 2009. This novel of 12th Century China, the product of 30 years work. is a real eye-opener.

The Academician - Book I of Southern Swallow

PRLog (Press Release) – Mar 02, 2009 – The Academician is to be published by the author of The Jade Owl Series, Edward C. Patterson:
“A bigger fool the world has never known than I — a coarse fellow with no business to clutch a brush and scribble. I only know the scrawl, because my master took pleasure in teaching me between my chores. Not many men are so cursed . . .” Thus begins the tale of Li K’ai-men as told by his faithful, but mischievous servant, K’u Ko-ling — a tale of 12th Century China, where state service meant a life long journey across a landscape of turmoil and bliss. A tale of sacrifice, love, war and duty — a fragile balance between rituals and passions. An epic commitment between two men to define the indefinable in their own world and time. Here begins the legacy of the Jade Owl and its custodian as he holds true to his warrants.
The Academician is the first of four books in the Southern Swallow series, capturing the turbulence of the Sung Dynasty in transition. Spanning the silvery days under the Emperor Hui to the disasters that followed, The Academician is a slice of world events that should never have been forgotten. Still, there are things more important than invasions and empires. The world’s fate rests in the warrants of Li K’ai-men, this young scholar from Gui-lin, called master by his faithful servant, but known as Nan Ya to the world."
The Academician is a fictional account of a twelfth Century Chinese scholar-official, who readers of The Jade Owl Legacy first encounter in The Third Peregrination. Although this series serves as an historical adjunct to The Jade Owl, it has been in development longer than any work from the author's pen. The character of Li K’ai-men first came to light over three decades ago in Patterson's first China-themed work, Vagrant Hollow, a work which, unlike Li, will never come to light. Still, Mr. Patterson's great desire to novelize a seminal epoch in Chinese History, the founding of the Southern Sung Dynasty, sprang to life even earlier in his Masters’ thesis, "The Restoration of the Southern Sung Dynasty: The Reign of the Emperor Kao-tsung: 1127 – 1167." While entrenched in this period’s amazing details, Patterson visualized the tug and tussle of events that every Chinese school child knows, but few in the West can fathom.