Thursday, 6 December 2012

Dreaming of a Dark Christmas

As Christmas approaches, the contrast between luxurious display and bleak poverty intensifies ever more.

Could things be otherwise? At this time of year, there is no shortage of dramatic imagination to show up possible alternative endings to human misery. In one or another version of ‘A Christmas Carol’, you will see that if only selfish people like Ebeneezer Scrooge became kind and generous, all would be well. And if you tune in to the inevitable screening of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, you will find that George Bailey should just keep faith in the goodness of other folks, who would inevitably come to the rescue of the less fortunate.

Are these the best stories we can tell? What about the systemic inequality that concentrates power in a small elite, enabling them to exploit the rest, leaving those at the bottom of the pile crushed and humiliated? Why can’t we draw on tales that will show up the real causes of suffering in society, and what changes are actually necessary beyond the fluff of feel-good movies?

This Christmas please help spread the word about a dark fable that is has been acclaimed as “an unmissable page-turner” (President, the Independent Publishers Guild); “original, engaging … [with an ending that is] astonishing” (Fantasy Book Review); and “a tour de force … full of plot surprises and layers of deeper meaning” (Director of Education, WEA). Kuan’s Wonderland is a novel that takes the reader on a roller-coaster ride of suspense and surreal adventure, and at the same time paints a vivid picture of what lies beneath the unjust and callous treatment of the vulnerable in society.

Kuan’s Wonderland has been selected for inclusion by the Equality Trust (see their review: in an Equality Education Project it will be taking forward in 2013. I am working with the Trust to produce learning resources to aid discussion amongst readers and teachers about its ideas, allusions and relevance to contemporary politics.

The novel can currently be downloaded as an e-book from Amazon for just £0.77 (but there will be no charge at all during the limited period of 7-11 December). If you do not have a Kindle, you can get a free app from Amazon to enable you to download the book to your iPad, laptop, desktop, or just about any type of computer device.

If you’re in the UK, go to:

If you’re in the US, go to:

[Feedback from readers would be of great help to me in developing the learning resources for schools. If you would like to be involved or find out more about this equality education project, you can contact Henry Tam, Cambridge University at:]