Join us for a General #AsianLitChat on 26 – 27 May Weekend!

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Join us for a general  on 26 – 27 May this weekend!

Readers and writers are welcome to chat about books by Asian Authors.

We’ll be diving into representation, writing and sharing favourite stories, so drop by! Many readers and writers are in different timezones, so we’ll be chatting all weekend – even after the official hour is over.

Saturday 26 May – 9:30pm GMT | 5:30pm ET

Sunday 27 May – 7:30am AEST | 9:30am NZST

For more times, add your city to the time converter.

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Guest Post: Five Steps to Getting a Literary Agent by Clarissa Goenawan

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Clarissa Goenawan is an Indonesian-born Singaporean writer. Her award-winning short fiction has appeared in literary magazines and anthologies in Singapore, Australia, the UK, and the US. Rainbirds is her first novel.


People often ask me, “Do you have any advice on how to be a writer?” I usually quote Stephen King. “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others:
read a lot and write a lot.” I will also add, “Work hard, and never give up.”
But when people ask me for advice on how to publish internationally, or how to make
a living as a traditionally published writer, I will tell them to get a good agent.

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Interview: Veronica Montes – Author of Benedicta Takes Wing & Other Stories

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Veronica Montes is the author of Benedicta Takes Wing & Other Stories (Philippine American Literary House, 2018). Her fiction has appeared in Bamboo Ridge, Prism International, and maganda, as well as in many anthologies including Contemporary Fiction by Filipinos in America, Growing Up Filipino, Going Home to a Landscape: Writings by Filipinas, and Kuwento: Lost Things among others.


What was the inspiration behind this short story collection?

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Character Interview: Kimberly Chang (from Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok)

Interview: Kimberly Chang
Kimberly Chang is a character in Jean Kwok’s novel, Girl in Translation.

Jean Kwok is the New York Times and international bestselling author of the award-winning novels Girl in Translation and Mambo in Chinatown. Her work has been published in 18 countries and taught in universities, colleges and high schools across the world. She has been selected for many honors including the American Library Association Alex Award, the Chinese American Librarians Association Best Book Award, and Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers. Jean’s writing has been featured in Time, The New York Times, USA Today, Newsweek, The Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, People, Real Simple and O, The Oprah Magazine, among others.

Jean immigrated from Hong Kong to Brooklyn when she was five and worked in a Chinatown clothing factory for much of her childhood while living in an unheated, roach-infested apartment. In between her undergraduate degree at Harvard and MFA in fiction at Columbia, she worked for three years as a professional ballroom dancer. Jean lives in the Netherlands with her husband, two boys and three cats, and is working on her next novel. A Dutch television documentary with English subtitles was filmed about Jean and her work.


Hello Kimberly! It’s lovely to finally meet you! How are you?

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Interview: Victoria Namkung – Author of These Violent Delights

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For nearly 20 years, Victoria Namkung has been a Los Angeles-based author, journalist, essayist, and cultural commentator. Her writing has been featured in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, NBC News, VICE, Washington Post, USA Today, and InStyle, among other publications. After receiving a master’s from UCLA in 2000, she taught courses on gender, immigration, and writing at UCSB, UCLA, and 826LA, respectively. The daughter of a Dublin-born Jewish mother and Korean father, Victoria was raised in Irvine, California and maintains dual citizenship in Ireland. She’s the author of the 2015 novel, The Things We Tell Ourselves (Standard Time Press), and These Violent Delights (Griffith Moon), hardcover published in the fall of 2017. Paperback published in May 2018.

Learn more about Victoria Namkung’s book recommendations, work, and the research process behind her timely contemporary book, These Violent Delights, which tackles sexual abuse in the US elite education system:


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New Releases: May Books by Asian Authors!

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We are excited to share some new books in May!

A mix of kid-lit, middle-grade, young adult, and adult books are listed below. (In case you missed it, join our open May reading challenge #AsianLitBingo too!)

Thanks to our Lit CelebrAsian team members: Glaiza and Shenwei for taking the time to research and compile this list.

Note: This is a just a small sample of releases out in May, so let us know what books you’re excited for.
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Asian Lit Bingo 2018 Reading Challenge Announcement and Master Post

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We are pleased to announce that we will be hosting a month-long reading challenge during May. This is the master post with all the relevant information for the reading challenge.

Background

Inspiration and Purpose: In the U.S., the month of May is Asian American Heritage Month*, so we thought, what better way to celebrate than to do a reading challenge that spotlights books with Asian characters and centers Asian voices? In publishing, there are power dynamics in play that marginalize Asian authors, especially those who write Asian characters and draw from their heritage for their writing. In the context of publishing in countries where white people are the majority/dominant group, diaspora Asians in those countries have a hard time breaking into publishing.

In a more global context, Asian writers in Asia have a hard to reaching a wider market beyond regional publishing due to their perceived foreignness, plus a general lack of infrastructure for translations for those that don’t write in English (and many do write in English). There are also double standards in the industry that facilitate publication for white authors writing Asian[-inspired] characters/settings/stories while Asian writers who write from the place of a cultural insider are often told their stories are “too Asian” or “not Asian enough.” For this reason, we feel it is especially important to highlight #ownvoices Asian stories, where the authors share the heritage of the characters they write about.

*May is technically designated as Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. However, a number of Pasifika activists and friends have stated that lumping together Asian Americans with Pacific Islanders results in the erasure and co-opting of PIs and that they want to have their own spaces to discuss their issues. We are respecting that and keeping the two separate for this challenge. We encourage readers to support Pasifika spaces via Our Stories – Tala mai le Moana compiled by Lani Wendt Young, the Pasifika Book ClubPasifika Tales and the Pasifika Spotlight hosted by Anjulie Te Pohe. Update: Resource of Pasific Islander Books (by Anjulie Te Pohe) of over 20 links on their site. 

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