Sunday, July 26, 2020

Why Are Historical Novels Important?

Close friends of mine will already be aware that as a writer and an avid reader, I have a pet peeve, which is that the historical fiction genre is way too Euro-centric and that fiction based on Asian history is grossly under-represented.

So it came as a pleasant surprise that I recently found my new novel Tales of Ming Courtesans on a list of 30 most anticipated historical novels which is curated by the Michigan community-driven book blog Paperback Paris! I was quite pleased to see that 4 (mine included) out of the 30 are set in Asia. It's hardly a satisfactory number but hopefully this will be the start of a new trend. 

With racism rearing its ugly head and other forms of bigotry and oppression like sexism and power abuse still to be addressed in many parts of the world, we as global citizens all need to learn our own histories as well as learn, understand and respect cultures and histories that are foreign to us if we want a better world for our future generations. I do believe that immersive historical fiction is not only an entertaining learning aid in the study of history, but also, in the form of human stories traversing the spectrum of time and space and touching on every aspect of humanity, it has the potential to help us understand better our present human condition and turn us into more empathetic persons.

As well, it was quite heartening to note that my book, published by an Asia-based small press, runs alongside those heavyweights published by imprints of the all-powerful Big Five publishers. Incidentally, the name "Paris" is the first name of the book blog founding editor, Paris Close, who is a person of color. Perhaps that explains why the list is so inclusive.

"Whether you’re looking for a history lesson or simply want to dive into a new book (or genre!), we’ve rounded up some of our most anticipated history-inspired reads of 2020, blending hard historical fiction with romance, fantasy, and mystery to hit something for every reader....."

Link to the Article and List

[NOTE: Physical copies of Tales of Ming Courtesans will hit shelves of Hong Kong bookstores in early August.]


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