Jinghua Qian

is a Shanghainese writer and poet.

By this author

book October 08, 2022

Against Disappearance: Essays on Memory

Liminal’s latest anthology brings together 20 searing new essays by First Nations writers and writers of colour. What jumps out at me is the out-of-body text: footnotes appear liberally in several essays, including Kasumi Borczyk’s, which engineers …

Culture September 03, 2022

Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Non-monogamy

You’ve probably seen the memes. Developed half a century ago by psychologists John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth, attachment theory has found renewed interest online in the past few years, thanks to our apparent collective need to typecast ourselves via …

Culture February 05, 2022

Sort Of

The mess and tenderness of care work drives this thoughtful and underappreciated Canadian sitcom.

Culture November 06, 2021

Shoko’s Smile

There’s a warmth to the short stories in Choi Eunyoung’s celebrated collection, Shoko’s Smile, that I haven’t encountered enough lately. It feels a little unfashionable, and very welcome. Yet her measured prose and granular, almost fastidious …

Culture July 10, 2021


I was only a few pages into this book when I realised I was gritting my teeth, despite admiring the author’s sharp observations of teen angst, existentialism and desire. That’s because the prevailing mood of this slim novel is dread. The protagonist …

Culture April 24, 2021

As Beautiful As Any Other

“It seems difficult here for anything to become permissible without becoming compulsory,” wrote child psychologist Martha Wolfenstein in 1951. She was writing about parenting and how softening attitudes towards playtime soon transformed into a new …

Culture February 20, 2021

Eating with My Mouth Open

I grew up thinking there were seven fundamental flavours: suān, tián, kǔ, là, xián, xiān, má. The first five translate easily – sour, sweet, bitter, hot, salty – but the other two don’t own a home on the English tongue. It was a shock to …

Culture January 30, 2021

Not For Broadcast

Newsroom simulation Not For Broadcast gives an insight into the farce of producing media under a repressive regime.

Culture November 14, 2020

Stage doyenne Nancye Hayes

After almost six distinguished decades in a notoriously fickle industry, Nancye Hayes is still captivating Australian theatre audiences with her indomitable mix of sass and charm. “Some people can’t stand musicals, but they’re joyful and moving. Music is very emotional and touches people.”

Culture November 07, 2020


Malthouse Theatre’s skilful audio adaptation of Christos Tsiolkas’s Loaded epitomises 2020 – yet somehow it feels dislocated from its time and place.

Culture September 26, 2020


S. L. Lim’s second novel is a vicious delight – a lit fuse that means to burn the whole house down. We first meet the protagonist, Yannie, as a clever young girl. She learns early that the world is not only violent but also senseless: reality changes …

Culture September 12, 2020

Still Life

“I tried to grieve, / I tried not to cough. I couldn’t sleep or I slept too much. / I tried to believe that words were enough, but I wore / them through. There was nothing to do, or everything to do / and no one to touch. It was a communal crisis of …”