Friday, December 2, 2016

Wendy Lee

Wendy Lee is the author of the novels The Art of Confidence, Across a Green Ocean, and Happy Family. Happy Family was named one of the top ten debut novels of 2008 by Booklist and awarded an honorable mention from the Association of Asian American Studies.

A graduate of Stanford University and New York University’s Creative Writing Program, Lee has received fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and the Corporation of Yaddo. She spent more than a decade in the publishing industry as an editor at HarperCollins Publishers and Lantern Books in Brooklyn, where she co-edited the anthology Defiant Daughters: 21 Women on Art, Activism, Animals, and the Sexual Politics of Meat. She has also worked as an English teacher in China, taught writing at the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, and served as a mentor with Girls Write Now.

Recently I asked Lee about what she was reading. Her reply:
I’ve just finished The Expatriates by Janice Y. K. Lee, author of the also excellent The Piano Teacher. The story revolves around three women living in Hong Kong and the way their lives intersect—literally, in the place that’s become their temporary home; and thematically, around the issues of belonging, grief, and motherhood.

I’m also reading Vanessa Hua’s short story collection Deceit and Other Possibilities, whose protagonists include a disgraced Hong Kong movie star, a failed prophet, and an imposter college student. As different as these characters are, all of them are skillfully and empathetically portrayed, and make for a very impressive debut.

Another debut I recently read and highly recommend is The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang, which is one of the funniest immigrant novels ever. The basic premise is that the Wang family embarks on a cross-country trip after the patriarch loses his fortune in the financial collapse of the late 2000s. It’s kind of like the American Dream in reverse.
Visit Wendy Lee's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.

My Book, The Movie: Across a Green Ocean.

The Page 69 Test: Across a Green Ocean.

--Marshal Zeringue