Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Ed Lin

Ed Lin is the author of several books and is an all-around standup kinda guy. Waylaid and This Is a Bust were both published by Kaya Press in 2002 and 2007, respectively, and both were widely praised. Both also won the Members’ Choice Awards in the Asian American Literary Awards. His third book, Snakes Can’t Run, was published by Minotaur Books in April 2010; it was loved by many and also won an Asian American Literary Award, and was followed by in One Red Bastard 2012. Lin, who is of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards.

Lin's new novel is Ghost Month.

Not too long ago I asked the author about what he was reading. Lin's reply:
I love reading musicians' autobiographies, maybe because I had always wanted to be in a fully functioning band. Miles Davis, Chuck Berry and Brian Wilson have all penned incredible books and now Dead Boy co-founder Cheetah Chrome has joined them with the publication of A Dead Boy's Tale: From the Front Lines of Punk Rock. Best live-on-stage photo caption ever: "I think I got thrown in jail after this gig."

It took me three months to read Luo Guanzhong's 2,200-page Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the Moss Roberts translation published by Beijing's Foreign Languages Press. It's a classic Chinese novel, but over the centuries the story of China's dissolution at the end of the Han Dynasty and reconstitution has grown to capture the imagination of East and Southeast Asia. Guan Yu, one of the book's historical characters, is recognized as a god in Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist pantheons. Worship doesn't end there. Countless videogames, films and shows are based on stories from the book. You'd think that reading of endless wars, palace intrigue and intra-army deceptions-upon-deceptions would be tiresome, but that's not the case at all. Strategies may lead to the taking of entire towns or end a sentence later with a single blow to the head from Guan Yu's moonblade. Riveting to the last page.

One of the best and most memorable books I've read in the latest 12 months was The Albino Album by Chavisa Woods. It's the story of a strange young orphan with an unpronounceable name who follows her instincts. You know you like a book when you fight about it. This jerk was trying to tear The Albino Album apart by thumbing through it, and reading out loud sentences he found banal. I blurted out, "That's like saying a beautiful mosaic sucks because it's made from a bunch of shitty, broken shells!" I am not friends with this guy nor will I be friends with anybody who dislikes this book, so goddamn read it and love it already.
Visit Ed Lin's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Snakes Can't Run.

The Page 69 Test: One Red Bastard.

My Book, The Movie: Ghost Month.

--Marshal Zeringue