Sunday 25th February 2018,

Bad Ass Asians

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Guardian: Asian American Wins Book of the Year Award

posted by Randall

Celeste NgCeleste Ng’s debut novel Everything I Never Told You has been named by Amazon as the Book of the Year.

Ng told the Guardian that much of the racism explored by the Chinese American family in her book is based on personal experience and observation.

Yet she admits she was hesitant to take on the subject.

“It was me not yet feeling comfortable about writing about my own culture,” said Ng. “Though I do feel a kinship, I didn’t grow up in China, I don’t speak Cantonese. Since I always felt a little bit of an imposter writing about Chinese culture, it was sort of a surprise that it ended up part of this novel.”

But in the end, it felt good to get her story out although she says her book isn’t autobiographical.

“Writing is like shouting into the world,” she says. “So when someone shouts back, it’s a really big deal. To have people who read hundreds and hundreds of books a year say, ‘Hey, we thought this was really great,’ that’s a huge self-esteem boost. All of this attention means, hopefully, I’ll be able to write another book.”

Ng shares a little about herself in a message directed at librarians in the video below. You can read about why she feels ambivalent about winning the award from Amazon in the Guardian.

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One Comment

  1. Corky Lee says:

    RE: Asian American wins book of the year award: If she has difficulty share her writing because she does not speak Cantonese, the generations after her will be intimidated also. Am sure the average white in America has very little knowledge of their roots. Especially if the are 5th, 6th or more generations living in America.

    Celeste has made a bold attempt & folks should be very supportive, but others should not let language be a blockage from expressing themselves. One can take up photography, I understand it’s a “universal” language but also has its limitations, but don’t let it hold you back..

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