For the first time in fiction this novel shows the courageous birth of the Stars Art Movement in Beijing in 1979. Little Winter is a passionate artist from the time she can hold a pen. Her haunting story connects us to this time of hope for freedom of expression in China and to a man frustrated by being kept ‘in small shoes’.
Frank Sieren, bestselling author, documentary film maker and Asia specialist. He has been living in China since 1994. The Times calls him one of the ‘decisive China authorities.’ says of this book:
“This memoir of a fictional heroine, Xiaodong (Little Winter), is set against the dramatic events of twentieth century Chinese history. Growing up in Beijing, she experiences the Cultural Revolution and is part of the Stars Art Movement, which changed the social and political landscape of China. Weaving real events and the Stars artists (including Ai Weiwei) with the fictional, this moving story shines a light on the internal workings of China and gives us an engaging heroine who rises above oppression to discover love, hope and success.”
Where to buy Brushstrokes in Time
From Feb 1, 2016 to buy copies of Brushstrokes in Time you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and they will post you a copy P&P included. It is on sale for £7.99. It can also be ordered from any book shop (print on demand) or from Amazon (ebook and printed).
ISBN – 978-19104610705
Where to buy Oxford Castaways
Oxford Castaways is on sale in Blackwell’s Oxford and Mostly Books Abingdon. The remaining copies can be bought directly from Sylvia from this website for £8.99 (£7.99 plus £1 towards postage) Copies of Oxford Castaways 2 and double sets at a discount are available from www.oxfordfolio.co.uk
Sylvia regularly speaks to WI and U3A groups about the humorous and inspirational experience of interviewing the 50 castaways.
ISBN – 978-1780185200
The island of Oxtopia is a fictional creation of mine and is blessed with a growing population. Hence the need for this second book in the series. Oxford Castaways 2 continues the unravelling of people’s life journeys.
We tend to think of journeys as involving physical travel and certainly one of the 40 castaways in this latest book, John Buckley, ventured into the dark heart of conflict in Cambodia, Sudan and Haiti. But this book mostly tells stories of a different kind of journey; life journeys, often intriguing, serendipitous, funny, sad, destination sometimes side-tracked, destinies sometimes fulfilled, but all wending in and out of the city of Oxford.
ISBN – 978-0956740564
This book can be appreciated as a source of easy to prepare inexpensive recipes which are delicious and healthy. 25 recipes were produced by Helen Peacocke who for 25 years wrote a recipe per week in The Oxford Times. The second element is the special (optional) ingredient in each recipe. Spirulina is a bright green algae which is 65 % protein. (In the UK a bag costs about £12 but lasts for 6 + months) But this is a cookbook with a difference: it comes with inspirational stories which connect the Oxfordshire Village of Kennington with the West Kenyan village of Musanda through an inspirational charity called The Nasio Trust.
Sylvia Vetta’s role in this book brings together two parts of her life. Involved in KOA for 40 years she has chaired the organisation for 16 of them. Kennington is unique in that every year for 48 years, through KOA, it has voted to raise money for a development project aimed at empowering people to help themselves. KOA funded the spirulina project for the Nasio Trust which it hopes will enable the charity to become self – sufficient in Kenya. The book is available from the Nasio Trust on line shop for £4.99, www.thenasiotrust.org.
In 1969, twin organisations were founded in the village of Kennington. Good Neighbours aims to help fellow villagers and Kennington Overseas Aid (KOA) connects the village to the wider world. Sylvia has organised social events for KOA over 40 years and chaired the organisation for sixteen years. When Julie Earl approached her for advice on producing a book on the history of the choir, she was delighted to do it for no charge in appreciation of all they have done for the village and for Oxfordshire. As KOA’s biggest fundraiser they have changed tens of thousands of lives for the better in the wider world.
Sylvia’s short story in ‘The Midnight Press and other Oxford Stories’ is called ‘The Taste of Moonlight’. She says “My daughter in law, Amita’s parents, Sneh and Pratap Chopra, started the first Indian restaurant on the Cowley Road and called it The Moonlight (The first Indian restaurant in the city was The Taj Mahal in Turl Street). The ‘romance’ in my Anglo/Indian story has a surprising twist at the end but celebrates the way Indian students have been coming to Oxford for 150 years.”
ISBN – TBC
Sylvia’s contribution to ’The Bodleian Murders’ and Other Oxford Stories is titled: The Play’s the Thing.
(Oxford Brookes student Ben Butcher’s exposure to a Creation Theatre production of Romeo and Juliet brought him sensual delight but when his settled life descends into nightmare, the role of Hamlet takes centre stage.)
“Another intriguing collection of stories by the OxPens writers.”
With fellow OWG member, Ben McSeoin, Sylvia has turned it into a script for The Shakespeare in Oxford project.
‘Oxfordshire Rambles’ a collection of 10 five mile circular walks originally led by Margaret and Jack Ibbott.
Sylvia wrote and produced this for Kennington Overseas Aid (KOA) with the help of Tim Metcalfe of Oxfordshire Limited Edition. It is on sale in Blackwell and Mostly Books for £3:99 and the proceeds from direct sales all go to KOA (www.koa.org.uk).
The book is illustrated with watercolours and pictorial maps by the artist Philip Martin. To buy a copy contact email@example.com or telephone Sylvia on 0780 905 4969.