International School is what happened to the writing I began while still in China. It’s a year in the life of one of the oddest brands of the new world, liberal-and-conservative in its own way, the expat private primary where kids still have at least a little of the innocence their parents and teachers long lost. The novel features swine flu panic, hallucinogenic school trips to botanical gardens, far too detailed descriptions of hi-rises, post-colonial rereadings of Year 5 English lessons, damage wrought by new metro lines, obsessive guides to Beijing street food and secret unions of taxidrivers. And some characters and at least a bit of a storyline.
Here’s some classroom sex to whet your appetite:
But it was also just a piece of drunken self-destruction, when people are about to leave and not only find out all the gossip, you can also just really freely fall to pieces and tell others all kind of shit about the year to make them feel uncomfortable as well, and that’s why he told me not just the position, how she moved on him, but also that he came just as they were caught, looking up thinking of other images anyway and then eyes open seeing one, the night watchman coming round with one hand on a light switch, paused and his dark and uncleanly shaven face rotated at a funny angle which saw the moment of the back of the teacher’s skirt shuddering with his movement inside her, still pressing against him like she hadn’t even noticed the pressure go even though he wanted her to stop for two reasons, because the pressure had stopped and he could already feel the condom loosen and because his eyes were caught and all the pleasure became only dumbly physical. She saw his widened eyes that wasn’t just finishing, because his lips were saying some swear word now too coldly and with fear, it was a bad thing, and when she saw it she gasped and jumped off him, in order to turn around and get as far away having to face the window for an instant, her clothes still on but her body exposed in just one triangle of complete nakedness, not even any normal skin visible. The man turned back the light still on and he just walked away, the teacher was down squatting on the carpet pulling clothes up, her back turned to the window and she must have been hoping he would leave, as he got his trousers back up with rubber still hanging in his boxers, later to find some non-professionally emptied bin. “Um…” he said. Yeah, that sounds about right.
If for any reason you’d like to read more, e-mail me.