A bonus assortment of links, old and new stories and essays, plus some advice for writers.
The Fortunes is interested in examining the burdens, limitations and absurdity of Asian stereotypes. Here are a couple of websites that blow up two of those myths – the idea of “digging to China”, and the notion that Asians all look alike. And here’s a playlist I compiled to go along with the book which includes a couple of examples of the musical “stereotype” known as the oriental riff.
I’m mixed race myself – half Chinese, half Welsh – born and brought up in Britain, now resident in the US for half my life. Here’s a short story, “Minotaur” reflecting on that experience from Mixed: An Anthology of Short Fiction on the Multiracial Experience edited by Chandra Prassad.
For the past dozen years I’ve played indoor soccer (football) with my students, and I’ve followed Manchester United since my college days in the city in the mid-80’s. This is an essay I wrote a few years back for The Thinking Fan’s Guide to the World Cup edited by Matt Weiland and Sean Wilsey.
I wrote my first published story, “Mountain”, when I was eighteen (though it didn’t appear until I was 21, and it’d be another five years before I’d published another). I’d started writing stories in my early teens when I was reading nothing but science fiction. But in my late teens my grandmother was institualized for dementia, a painful passage for my family, and I found myself writing about something “real” for the first time in my life and discovering a power in fiction that my tepid space operas had never suggested.
And along with my oldest stories, here’s one of my most recent, Chance, in audio form from the very cool Drum: A Literary Magazine for your Ears.
Finally, some writing advice. I’ve been teaching writing for twenty years now, and still love it, but I rarely write about writing. Much as I admire friends who do, I find I hesitate to generalize about something so individual. Still…when I’m asked to deliver a lecture or talk I usually appreciate the prompt. Here are a few such essays:
- “Only Collect” on assembling and structuring a short story collection from Lit from Within edited by Kevin Haworth and Dinty Moore.
- “Legend in my own Lunchtime” on historical fiction
- “Done” on how to know when you’re finished with a story from Because You Asked: A Book of Answers on the Art and Craft of the Writing Life edited by Katrina Roberts.