Kirstin Chen’s new novel, Bury What We Cannot Take, is set on a tiny island on the coast of Southern China in 1957 and a family gets in trouble with government authorities and has to flee very quickly to Hong Kong. The book has been listed in Most Anticipated Upcoming Book by The Millions, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Harper’s, and Bazaar. Writing a book of this magnitude was not easy for Kristin as her literary journey leading up to this writing Bury What We Cannot Take was an amazing story in it’s self. KollabSF breaks down this journey and interviews Kirsten on the phone as we talk about her essay writing (to which I enjoy them tremendously), being Singaporean, and the feeling of the life or death of your first novel.
Lucy Tan’s debut novel What We Were Promised is a story that follows the Zhen family has moved back to China after spending their lives chasing the American dream. Lucy explores heavy themes like classism, going from immigrant to an expat, and concepts of belonging, as US Today reviews, ““What We Were Promised” is bustling with themes like these, ones that focus on the terrifyingly complex facets of what it means to be Chinese-American, an immigrant, and an expat. But Tan certainly has enough bandwidth to handle these heavy topics, sifting them through a single family with forlorn honesty and compassion.” Kollaboration gets a chance to interview Lucy Tan about her writing process as an Asian American woman, her challenges of having a bilingual home as a writer, and ask her experience as a Asian American actress.
“Can Asian Americans succeed in Arts and Entertainment with prestige just like our fellow Asian American writers?” We discuss this question as Kollab SF starts a new miniseries interviewing Asian American authors who have new books coming out in 2018.