When I started writing my memoir, Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair With China Gone Wrong, I began networking with authors who wrote books set in Asia. I imagined developing solid friendships with a group of supportive authors. There’s a Chinese saying, huxiang bangzhu. It means “mutually helping one another.” That’s what I pictured.
Fast-forward six years. My memoir was being published and I arranged for review copies to be sent to authors I’ve gotten to know through social networking or in person. I knew I couldn’t expect rave reviews just because we have a connection or because I had given their books five stars on Amazon and Goodreads. But for the most part, I had been extremely pleased with the feedback.
Well, except for this one guy. Keep reading »
“You guys know about vampires? … You know, vampires have no reflections in a mirror? There’s this idea that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. And what I’ve always thought isn’t that monsters don’t have reflections in a mirror. It’s that if you want to make a human being into a monster, deny them, at the cultural level, any reflection of themselves. And growing up, I felt like a monster in some ways. I didn’t see myself reflected at all.” — Junot Díaz
As a kid, I never tried to sneak out of the house. It’s not that I was a stickler for the rules (sorry, Mom) — it’s just that all the wonders I could ever want to explore didn’t exist outside the confines of my home. They were waiting for me when I woke up each morning, tucked neatly into the hallway bookshelves whose ever-expanding ranks housed J.K. Rowling, Leo Tolstoy, Judy Blume, and Sarah Dessen. Keep reading »
YA novels — that’s “young adult” novels, for the uninitiated — have had a rough go of things lately. Slate.com came out swinging against the popular genre, claiming grownups should only read grownup books or else we’re all repressed babies. Or some such nonsense. Books are just books — they’re for people. Typically YA novels have more characters who are teens/children, but that’s about the only difference. There is still sex, drugs, violence, and everything! Ultimately, the YA genre or the “New Adult” genre are phrases used by publishers’ marketing departments.
I’m a passionate and voracious reader and genuinely saddens me that anyone would discourage people from reading anything. So, I thought I would ease some of the YA-averse into checking out some novels that are similar to popular “grownup” books — recommendations I’m making based on similar themes and tone. If you read and enjoyed the “grownup” novel, you’ll probably really enjoy the YA novel. And vice versa.
A Brooklyn-based author is having a pretty solid week, thanks to Stephen King. Yes, we’re talking about THE Stephen King. Emily Schultz published her debut novel, Joyland, eight years ago, but hasn’t seen much success from it until recently, when literary heavyweight King released a novel with the same name. Now, thanks to all of the nincompoops online who are accidentally purchasing her book instead of his, Schultz has been enjoying the fruits of Mr.King’s labor … and other peoples’ stupidity.
At first, Emily was annoyed that all of the
idiots thirsty readers who accidentally bought her book were leaving unkind reviews of her novel on her Amazon reviews page, but she started caring a little bit less once her royalty checks started coming in, which she described as “for me, big.” Because Emily felt guilty about essentially cashing in on someone else’s book, she decided to start a blog documenting how she was spending all of her new money, and whether or not Stephen King would approve of her purchases. GENIUS, I tell you. Keep reading »