Hope everyone had a nice weekend! I’ve been busy with a lot of different projects. Experimentation is fun, but it can also be painful when you are getting a variety of rejections back, haha. You always have to fight self-doubt while at the same time considering how you can improve and get better, balancing self-critiquing with honest self-evaluation. But that is all part of the writer’s struggle! This week, I received two fabulous blurbs that uplifted me and also humbled me because I really do struggle with doubt and they were kind of a jolt reminding me, maybe I can be a writer after all, LOL. I’ll write about the first one from Tim later. But wanted to include the second one that I just received from my publisher. It’s from Xu Xi, one of the writer’s I greatly admire and the person whose writing first attracted me to the publisher!
Here’s her bio:
XU XI really is, however, the author of nine books of fiction & essays, and editor of three anthologies of Hong Kong literature in English. A Chinese-Indonesian native of Hong Kong, the city was home until her mid-twenties, after which she led a peripatetic existence around Europe, America and Asia. She was inhabiting the flight path connecting New York, Hong Kong and New Zealand, but is now more or less squatting atop a Hong Kong rooftop again for a spell, with dental benefits, amazingly, since a foolish consistency is not her idea of how to conduct a life.
THE NEW YORK TIMES once named her (on Christmas Day, no less) a “pioneer writer from Asia in English” and the VOICE OF AMERICA featured her on their Chinese TV documentary series “Cultural Odyssey” (who knew that a voice was also a moving image?). Singapore’s BUSINESS TIMES dubs her passion “Asia as it is today – gritty, modern and confused” (because even business readers read fiction, presumably). According to some other reviewers, her work explains “the paradox that is Hong Kong” that avoids “the sex and drug and triad stereotypes . . . portraying the city more accurately and realistically for it.” Her “new and innovative diasporic global language” is “uncluttered” and “arrestingly poignant.” She is “an alchemist of observation” whose sensibility is “generous and compassionate.”
And this is what she said about Watering Heaven:
Exuberant. Wildly inventive. Grungy, grimy, gritty with global resonance for the 21st century, Watering Heaven boldly treads where devils fear to go. This debut collection of madly manic fiction rides bareback over the rocky metaphysical divide that is Asia (especially China) and the U.S.A. And the journey is bleakly compassionate. These are curious fictions, bordering at times on meditations about the unpredictability and possibility of existence. In particular, the problem of love is always at the forefront, as people meet and part, vanish and return, die and resurrect in a horrific relationship to the blatantly, and even grotesquely, physical. Liu’s protagonists are forever in search of the perfect connection with the partner who will pull them out of their own skins; at times this restlessness is disturbing and weirdly extremist. Yet at the center of each story is a pulsing, beating heart that seems to whisper: try, try, don’t stop trying, heaven is just around the corner. An astonishing energy prevails throughout the collection. This is definitely a writer to watch.
–Xu Xi, Author of Access: Thirteen Tales and Habit of a Foreign Sky
Thank you Xu Xi!