About: Literary Lotus is the blog of Christine Thomas, a book critic, features and travel writer currently based in Hawai`i. Christine’s criticism appears regularly (recent book pages cuts aside) in the San Francisco Chronicle, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, Honolulu Advertiser, and Paste Magazine, but have been published in many more, from the New York Times Book Review to the Times Literary Supplement. Her features often appear in Hemispheres Magazine, Spirit of Aloha, Hawaii Westways and Hana Hou.

Christine is also a fiction writer, a graduate of the 2000-2002 University of East Anglia (UK) creative writing masters program, and in 1996 earned a bachelors in English at UC Berkeley English. Her short fiction has been published in the U.S. in Bamboo Ridge, awarded best new writer 2008, and in the UK literary magazines Pretext and Spiked, the UK anthology Firsthand, and was shortlisted for the UK Asham Award for Women Writers. She is working on a linked collection of short fiction and an anthology of retold Hawaiian myth.

Why Literary Lotus?
Well, the literary part of this site title is obvious given the above, as my world is centered on words and stories. Lotus, however, has led to some reader questions.

Lotus most likely conjures images of a flower and meditation. That is part of the impetus for the name, as the contemplative power of reading is something I mean this site to impart, and meditation is important in my life. Yet, this is just a fraction of the story.

A little down on the right there is also a telling quote by Isabella Bird, from her collected letters while traveling in Hawai`i in the 19th century: “I sympathize with those who eat the lotus, and remain for ever on such enchanted shores.” This is an homage to my birthplace, Hawai`i, where I again reside, and which regularly features in my writings and posts.

The Literary Lotus sub-head also reads: You are invited to eat the lotus, read, and stay a while. This may be obvious to many, for it is an allusion to Homer’s Odyssey and Odysseus’s visit to the Lotus-Eaters, who survive by eating a fruit that induces a stupor that makes them forget home.

While I don’t expect that readers will get so engrossed in Literary Lotus that they will lose their way, I do hope to create content that provokes thought, debate, awareness, pleasure and entertainment, so that even if you do have to go home again, you’ll never forget to come back.

Thank you for reading. I always invite your comments, and leads on new events, books, and ideas.

Aloha.

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