TK Home & Garden


The Art Of The Game


The game Mah Jongg can be traced back to the 1800s. It’s a game of skill played by four people with domino-like tiles, and Mah Jongg is still very much a Chinese game of old. Because Mah Jongg requires cooperation and strategy between playing partners, it has been said that it has been a force in building social development between both race and genders in America. It’s popularity holds strong today with growing numbers of local and online clubs in action.

In November of 2014,Tuttle Publishing released Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game. It is the first book to fully capture the story of the exotic and exciting game of Mahjong or “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 Mahjong 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 Mahjong 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 Mahjong tile will find in these pages visually stunning photographs that will entice them into becoming an enthusiast of the timeless game of Mahjong.

“I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Whether used as a reference or a beautiful keepsake, it’s a very worth addition to the world of Mah Jongg.” —Ruth Unger, President, National Mah Jongg League

Join us on Feb. 7th for an afternoon of Mah Jongg with authors Ann Israel and Gregg Swain and photographer Michel Arnaud to learn the game, discuss the book and have your copy signed.

Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game is available at TK Home and Garden now, you can also purchase a copy at the event.

See you there!


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