Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Sunday Panel and Workshop at the LiterASIAN Festival

I so appreciate the support (and kind words) of Todd Wong, President of the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop, and of Allan Cho, Festival Director of the 2018 LiterASIAN Festival, who invited me to participate. They both are passionate and dedicated promoters of Asian Canadian writers. I admire their energy!

This is my book reading at my Sunday Workshop:

At the Sunday, September 23, 2018 Panel (in which I took part), there was book reading by panelists and sharing of our selection of favorite Asian Canadian authors and their works.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A Memorable 2018 LiterASIAN Festival!

I had a wonderful time on the Opening Night of the 2018 LiterASIAN Festival. The highlight was meeting in person the lovely Madeleine Thien, prize-winning author of "Do Not Say We Have Nothing", which I loved and would highly recommend, and chatting with her for a bit. I also found out from Winnipeg author Michael Kaan (author of the new novel "The Water Beetles") that his father used to live in Happy Valley, Hong Kong! His novel is based on his father's memoirs about the 1941 Japanese invasion of Hong Kong. And I got him to sign my copy, which I bought from the Festival Bookshop.

  At the Sunday Panel, which was near full-house, I enjoyed the stimulating discussion with fellow panelists about our favorite Asian Canadian authors and their works. Later that day, my Workshop ran fairly well with lots of thought-provoking questions from the audience about my novel "The Green Phoenix" and about the craft of writing historical fiction. I was thrilled to find my Goodreads friend Rowena Monde in the audience! It was so wonderful to finally meet her in person! One interesting episode was that one of the attendees happened to be a lady of Manchu ethnicity who adores Empress Xiaozhuang, and she kept asking if there's a Chinese version of "The Green Phoenix"! But she bought a copy of the book any way from the Festival Bookshop! So sweet of her!

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Thrilled to Meet Madeleine Thien on Opening Night!

On Opening Night of the LiterASIAN Festival, I was thrilled to get a chance to chat with Madeleine Thien, the 2016 Giller Prize winner for her seminal book Do Not Say We Have Nothing! Then this afternoon, at the end of the Panel that I took part in, I had another chance to talk to her! She is such an understated, modest, sincere and warm person. It was my honor and privilege to have met her in person.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Tonight is the Opening Night!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Friday, September 14, 2018

A Pleasurable Chat with Sheryl MacKay on CBC Radio Show

Yesterday, I went to the CBC Radio studio in downtown Vancouver for the recording of an interview about my novel The Green Phoenix: A Novel of the Woman Who Re-made Asia, Empress Xiaozhuang with Sheryl MacKay, the amiable and professional host of the North by Northwest Show. The interview is part of the CBC Radio's coverage of the upcoming LiterASIAN Festival.

Speaking in public has always been a bete noire of mine, not to mention this was the first time I had ever been on a radio show. My stomach was all knotted up when I stepped into the building. Then an all-smiling Sheryl came out to greet me at the reception. Her warm and friendly disposition put me at ease immediately. As we walked into the studio, she casually told me she loved my book (which almost made me swoon), and that she is a fan of historical fiction! A kindred spirit! When I was seated, she kindly offered to bring me a cup of water, as she probably could sense my nervousness. Then she told me that she didn't have a plan and that we would make it up as we went along, her smile never leaving her lovely face. So we started to chat. All through the interview, she and I maintained eye contact (through a glass divider) and she never stopped giving me encouraging signs through timely responses and body language. She just effortlessly showed herself to be one great, appreciative listener.

I've just received a note from Sheryl telling me that the interview will air on Saturday, September 15, 2018 right after the 8:00 a.m. news. Be warned that my performance is still below par, but the fault is all mine.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Panel Discussion at LiterASIAN Festival - Evolution of Asian Canadian Writing

This is a free event to be held on September 23, 2018 (12 noon to 1:30 pm) at the Strathcona Branch of the Vancouver Public Library.

The term “literary canon” refers to a body of books, narratives or texts considered to be important and influential during a particular time period or place. In fact, the use of the term "canon" originated in reference to a set of texts derives from Biblical canon, the set of books regarded as religious scripture. Although much has been theorized of an emerging Asian Canadian Canon, with an entire issue even devoted to it in the Journal of Canadian Literature in 2008, there still much ongoing debate to the merits of an Asian Canadian literature, or whether it is even a part of a Canadian literature. Join us as a panel of established writers discuss how they view their writing within the spectrum of a literary tradition and as an Asian Canadian writer.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Beijing Expatriates Picked The Green Phoenix To Read!

I was googling The Green Phoenix and stumbled on a post announcing that the Beijing Book Reading Group of InterNations (an expatriate organization) has selected The Green Phoenix for their September Group Read. They will start the discussion on September 9, 2018! Those who have registered to join the reading and discussion come from six different countries.