bigWOWO rating: Asian American GOLD
I’m always on the lookout for literature that:
a) covers a perspective that is out of the ordinary, and
b) has something to do with my own personal experience
I saw this on AngryAsianMan: The Paper Menagerie, a short story by Ken Liu, is the first ever to win all three of sci-fi’s major awards: the Hugo, the Nebula and the World Fantasy Award. Pretty amazing. You can read the entire story here. It’s about a hapa boy whose white father met his Chinese mom through a mail-order service. The mom has the ability to make origami come to life, and she creates a live collection of animals for her son.
The writing is really good. Check it out. Feel free to click the very very short spoiler here: show
Peter Tieryas Liu sent me a copy of his book Watering Heaven, a collection of short stories. It’s his first book. Order it on Amazon here or learn more about Peter Tieryas Liu at his website here. He’s got tons of publications in some of the top literary journals in the country, including Zyzzyva, Indiana Review, Evergreen Review, and Kartika.
Let me first begin by saying that short stories is usually not my genre. I say “usually” because I’m more of a novel-guy, although longtime readers have seen me heap tons of praise on writers of longer short stories like Alice Munro and Yiyun Li. Watering Heaven is a book of very short stories, some only three or four pages. I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect, since I was crossing into an unfamiliar space.
If any of my three or four readers from Oregon are sitting by a radio from 11:30 until noon tomorrow (Tuesday, October 9), I’ll be on the air with Dmae Roberts on FM 90.7, talking about the Where Are You From? anthology.
Haha…I saw this awesome quote at abagond.
Carlson is so sunk in a white privilege mindset that he overlooks the fact that white men on Fox News can be as angry as they want to be – that is just “free speech”, “honest opinion” and “part of the political process”. But when blacks do it, it is seen as”divisive” and “dangerous” – or, as liberals put it, “counterproductive”.
I wanted to bring your attention to a Kickstarter by Seattle poet Koon Woon. I actually met Koon through Frank Chin. He’s a great guy, and his book has been published by Kaya Press, which is where Ed Lin got his start. He is trying to raise money to support his literary magazine. Kick in a few bucks, and support Asian American lit. 🙂
Remember this: Thymos Book Project 2009? Seems like eons ago…wayy back in ’09.
It is with great pride that I’m announcing the release of Where Are You From: An Anthology of Asian American Writing. It is being published by Thymos, my much-beloved nonprofit which will close down this year since the expenses and sweat labor requirements have grown exponentially. But at least we got a kick-ass book out of it. I’m not an editor, but I helped somewhat with the proofreading. Great, great props to Val Katagiri and Larry Yu for an excellent job with the editing. Click here, and you can buy it on Amazon for the low, low price of $16–not bad considering there are something like 30 authors in it. The hard copy is beautiful. If you’re high tech, you can also get it on your Kindle for only $10.
bigWOWO rating: Literary Fiction Gold
Put this title on a list of surprisingly good books that I probably would not have picked up from just the summary. The story is told from the first-person perspective of a grad student whose sister disappears. When something bad happens to the narrator’s parents and they find themselves returning to Korea, the grad student must confront her family’s history over time and space. What follows is author Chung’s beautiful, lyrical description of a family in chaos that seeks to regain its footing.
The End of East was a first novel written by Jen Sookfong Lee, who is a Chinese Canadian author. The story is about three generations of the Chan family in Vancouver. It begins from the first person perspective of the youngest daughter of the family, Samantha Chan, who is moving back in with her mother after suddenly leaving college. Sammy is the youngest of five daughters. Using Samantha as a starting point, the novel delves into the immigration story of her grandparents and parents.
Sorry, I’ve been meaning to blog about this for a while, but the Asian American Writers’ Workshop has rebranded and relaunched. Their new site says “Inventing the Asian American intellectual culture of tomorrow.” I don’t know how much my brand of “intellectualism” (I’m more visceral and political…haha..and maybe less intellectual!) fits in there, but I support what they do. I remember going to their events when I lived in NYC. It’s great that they have an institution to promote AA Lit.
Someone posted this interview with Don Lee today on FB. In the article, he is interviewed by Christine Lee Zilka, who is an editor at Kartika.
I probably disagree with a lot of what he says in the interview concerning the role of literature in Asian America (I just don’t think we’re there yet nor will we be for a while, but to be fair, most Asian Americans probably disagree with me and agree with Don Lee), but it’s a great interview. As far as his new book the Collective, it’s probably the title that I’m most anticipating in Asian American lit this year. I’ve got just one book ahead of it on my list–and yes, I anticipate a review/discussion. See here for a short synopsis of The Collective: