"Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game […] delves into issues as serious as racist imagery printed on cast-stone tiles and ambitious manufacturers' experiments with plastics and composites like Pyralin and Ebonite." —New York Times
This is the first book to fully capture the story of the exotic and exciting game of Mah Jongg, offering an intimate look at the history of the game as well as the visual beauty of the tiles. When authors Ann Israel and Gregg Swain began playing Mah Jongg, they were unaware of the vintage collections that existed not only in the United States but also as far ranging as Africa to New Zealand. Slowly, they started to collect their own sets of Mah Jongg and as their collections grew, so did their appreciation of the history of, and interest in the game.
Finding few references, Israel and Swain set out to create a book that chronicles the early beginnings of the game and documents Mah Jongg sets from the most basic, made simply of paper, to the most precious materials such as ivory and mother-of-pearl. Recognized and respected scholars and game experts have collaborated with Israel and Swain, contributing important chapters on the game's history and its pieces as well as technical information on the tiles. Lastly, great collectors from around the globe have shared their incredible sets and memories for the first time in one book for everyone to enjoy.
With hundreds of beautiful new images by renowned photographer, Michel Arnaud, and including historical documentation and ephemera, Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game fills the void between the past and today's game, providing vision, inspiration and resources. Anyone who has ever been intrigued by a Mah Jongg tile will find in these pages visually stunning photographs that will entice them into becoming an enthusiast of the timeless game of Mah Jongg.