PARKIN, Andrew

Author Tags: Fiction, Poetry, Theatre

Andrew Parkin was educated in Birmingham,
Cambridge, and Bristol. He now divides his time between Paris and Vancouver.

Andrew Parkin's 24th book, Private Dancers or Responsible Women, a Novel of Intrigue (Houston: Strategic Book Publishing) is a rare B.C. novel for two reasons: it unabashedly includes sex and it shows that, hey, things can turn out well! Laced with food, drink, sex, costumes, and exotic interiors, it's a tale of eros and espionage as a journalist named Paul Wills tries to track down a mystery woman he encountered in Hong Kong and Europe, the beautiful Kalitza. Written by a man whose military service was as a Russian linguist in Berlin during the Cold War, Private Dancers is set in Hong Kong, Paris and London. It involves counter-terrorism and identity puzzles that are resolved in a wedding scene finale. Parkin describes his magnetic and alluring character of Kalitza (aka Kim, aka Alissa) as "a compulsively bizarre—like Jung’s Anima who seems to arise from the male unconscious, yet clearly has independent existence." The overriding themes are freedom and metamorphosis. 978-1-62857-431-9

Andrew Parkin has dual English and Canadian citizenship. He taught for many years at the University of British Columbia, becoming a Full Professor. He then taught at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) as Chair Professor of English (1990-2001) and a Fellow of Shaw College. Professor Arthur K.C. Li (Hon. Fellow of Sidney Sussex) as Vice-Chancellor of CUHK appointed Andrew as Orator Universitatis.

Now retired, he is Professor Emeritus of CUHK and Honorary Senior Tutor of Shaw College. Founding Editor of The Canadian Journal of Irish Studies, he was awarded the title of Most Distinguished Retiring Editor of a Learned Journal by the Council of Editors of Learned Journals in Washington, D.C. An Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Association for Irish Studies and Adviser to the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, he belongs also to the International Association of University Professors of English. A member of the Canadian Writers’ Union, he is also adviser to the Canadian Chinese Writers’ Association.

Parkin publishes mostly scholarly books, mainly on drama, as well as original poetry, and short fiction. His published poetry may be found in his Dancers in a Web (Turnstone,1987; rpt. 1990), Yokohama Days, Kyoto Nights (Ekstasis, 1992, sold out), Hong Kong Poems (Ronsdale, 1997; rpt. 1999), The Rendez-Vous (Peter Lang, 2003), Shaw Sights and Sounds (a suite of 12 poems accompanying paintings by Chan Hang, Shaw College, 2006). This book is available only from Shaw College in the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

A recent book is Star of a Hundred Years, a Scenariode for Sir Run Run Shaw (A.R.A.W. LII Publications, Ajmer, India, 2009). He has also published two artists’ books with Jacqueline Ricard at la cour pavée in Paris. Educated at Pembroke College, Cambridge and with a doctorate from the Drama Department at Bristol University, he now lives in Paris but visits many different countries to give lectures and poetry readings. He visits Canada every year to be with family and friends in B.C. In October 2008, he succeeded Mme. Françoise Pépin LeHalleur as Chairman of the Paris Decorative and Fine Arts Society.

Another Rendez-Vous: Poetry and Prose from the Cultural Crossroads (Peter Lang, 2011 ISBN 978-3-631-62020-5) was followed by his first novel. Private Dancers or Responsible Women (Texas: SBPRA, 2014. ISBN 978-1-62857-431-9) set in Vancouver, France, the UK (including Scotland), Hong Kong and Rome. It is a novel of intrigue, featuring a Paris-based journalist, French and British secret agents, and an Anglo-Indian medical doctor with a surgery in the British midlands outside Birmingham. "It's about love and death," he says, "the only topics worth discussing, according to W.B. Yeats!"

Sir Run Run Shaw, the media tycoon who helped bring Chinese martial arts films to an international audience, died in his home in Hong Kong on January 3, 2014. When he learned Sir Run Run Shaw was going to be 100 years old, Andrew Parkin was visiting Shaw College in Hong Kong, so he began an ode, "Star of a Hundred Years," about film as an art, and China--in the form of a film script. It was published with a translation into Hindi by the Indian poet, Anuraag, and reprinted by Ekstasis Editions of Victoria, then translated into Chinese.

[BCBW 2014]