Taking a genuine interest in China has never been more important to the future of the world in the twenty first century. It’s a mistake to stereotype the country and a mistake to ignore it. Rumours of a coup are just that -RUMOURS. Mao went swimming in the Yangtze and waited and waited. He watched as some debated the issues that were damaging the country and then he returned started the Cultural Revolution and purged his critics including Deng Xiaoping. This could be a repeat of that or maybe not because there is huge frustration in China over Covid restrictions and there are  stresses on the economy.

Brushstrokes in Time is an enjoyable read –a page turner but it is set against REAL events so at the end you will be surprised how much you know about China. It’s a fictional memoir of Chinese artist Little Winter, who tries to re-establish the bond with her American daughter, telling the story of her emotional and rebellious past. While growing up in China, Little Winter discovers talent and rebellion, joining ‘The Stars’ art movement for freedom of speech in an era where self-expression and love were a dangerous act. Filmmaker Andy Cohen found 40 minutes of contemporary film about the Stars. (1979)  Watch the trailer on this link.   https://www.beijingspringfilm.com/

Praise for Brushstrokes in Time

Former chief foreign correspondent of the Guardian, China expert, John Gittings, read it determined to find fault but says that he failed and that “Vetta is always accurate with a grasp of vivid detail.”

The internationally respected poet, Dr Jenny Lewis says, “For me, it has to be among my top ten historical novels, certainly of this century. Utterly mesmerising and unforgettable.”

Dr. Maria Jaschok who lived in China between 1980-1996 says, “Moving but never mawkish, informed yet entirely accessible.’

Lady Moyra Bannister:  “Utterly brilliant.”

Among the 72 mostly 5 star reviews on Amazon all of which testify to a GOOD READ  Ray Foulk the author of Stealing Dylan from Woodstock,

“I haven’t done much work today because I could not put this page-turner down. As I reached the end just one thought dominated: everyone should read this book. No one I’ve ever come across has managed to tell the story of modern Chinese politics, arts and society in so accessible, imaginative and compelling a fashion.”

Dr Joy Zhang University of Kent China Studies made three short video interviews with Sylvia on why she was so passionate about letting the world know about the courageous Stars Artists, who included Ai Weiwei




Sylvia introduces Beijing Spring in this magazine article.