Andrys Onsman


This month I’ve posted an extract from a memoir about the year I spent in China, nominally teaching at the University of Nottingham’s campus in Ningbo. In truth, I didn’t have a lot to do in terms of the academic side of things. But it was a great experience and I thoroughly enjoyed wandering around the city, playing football and meeting some great people. One of the friends I made was Tony Lin, a librarian with whom I still maintain contact. He is one of the loveliest people in the world, and heaven knows how he put up with an insensitive old laowai poking his big white nose into everything. We had the best, the craziest, the most emotional and the funniest conversations, and I learned a lot about Chinese society and culture from him and his wonderful family. Apart from some unique Australian insults, he learned next to nothing from me.

As an aside, when an agent tried to get the memoir published a lot (if 6 is a lot) of the refusal letters said it was very well written and that it was an interesting story but I’m just not famous enough. Well, I would be if you published the memoir!

Thanks for the comments: on here, by email and F2F. Apologies if I don’t respond in a timely manner but I do read everything, and I will get back to you. Except about the comments on the above photo. I know the books are in focus and my face isn’t …