William Warren's writings on Asia have entertained and informed readers all over the world for 40 years. He has always preferred the unusual to the ordinary, the little-known to the familiar and the essays in this book, all of them about Asia and collected here for the first time, are linked by a taste for oddity and romance. Their subjects range from Anna Leonowens -generally known as the heroine of The King and I, but revealed here as a somewhat different Anna, less appealing but more interesting-to the significance of amulets and shrines, the cobra as a gastronomic treat, Asian women, and the myths surrounding Jim Thompson.

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