24 September 2015

Great Books by Great People

Alright, so I’m in New York, have been for a few weeks, and while there’s lots to cover, let’s start with my timely arrival that enabled me to hit a few book events. All exciting stuff, so see below.

I’ve been following Alex Kleeman’s blog, technicolor.org, since maybe 2002. Like back when blogs were barely a thing. Technicolor was an all-time favorite and I pushed it on as many people as would listen. Alex’s writing was just so amazing (and she was super young), and I knew she would, at some point, be a writer. Fast forward to 2015 and here we are, Alex's debut novel, You Too Can Have a Body Like Mine. I slipped into her reading at Asian American Writer’s Workshop last week and it was like my online life just collapsed in on itself. Kinda wild. Anyway, go read Alex's book, I’m saving it for my airplane ride back to Taipei but you can get started on it today!
I met Dhonielle one night in New York years ago, as she was in town visiting with our mutual friend. Twenty-four hours later we had canvassed the city and stayed up forever, and that set the stage for the first YA writer friend I had! Dhonielle and Sona met while doing their MFAs at the New School and their debut novel just released, Tiny Pretty Things. It’s about three dancers at a Manhattan ballet academy and all the behind-the-scenes drama. Since I was in town, I jetted to the Brooklyn Book Festival to see their panel but it was so jam packed that I couldn’t even get in. Overcapacity!

So I guess I was there in a support capacity, but you know, outside — hanging out with Sona’s husband, Navdeep, also a writer! Regardless, Sona and Dhonielle have a whole slew of things coming out so I’ll have the chance to catch them at other stuff soon. Also, the super duo launched Cake Literary last year, a book development company with a decidedly diverse bent. The world of YA is lily white for the most part, as we know, so it’s kind of amazing to have fellow authors of color who like, get it.

Actually, while I’m here in the YA world, jetting from San Diego to New York meant I missed Cindy Pon’s book launch for her new release, Serpentine. It’s set in the same kingdom of Xia as Silver Phoenix and Fury of the Phoenix and there’s also a follow-up coming!
And finally, yesterday I went to my friend Sam’s book release for her one-woman play, Lydia’s Funeral Video. I saw Sam perform Lydia’s Funeral Video a few years ago in San Francisco, and it’s literally amazing. If that’s possible. I thought last night’s event was actually a performance but as it turned out, it was just the book release. I wish there was a way for you to see Sam do the play, but if the next best thing is the book format, that’ll do.
Basically all this going to book stuff makes me feel like I need to be back in New York. There’s just so much shit to do here, and the people, the people! Of course, I should probably also get back to writing something. Heck, the long discussed project I wrote for Sam’s Kearny Street Workshop class I took in 2009 is still waiting for me to get past the proposal stage. What’s the gestation period for a writing project? Infinity right? So I'm on the right track?