History From Within: Outrun the Moon

In my fifteen years, I have stuck my arm in a vat of slithering eels, climbed all the major hills of San Francisco, and tiptoed over the graves of a hundred souls. Today, I will walk on air.

outrunthemoon.jpgI asked Stacey Lee to tell me how she went about developing the character of the determined, gutsy hero of her YA historical novel, Outrun the Moon. Here is what she wrote:

I wanted to do a little stereotype busting with Mercy, who is the opposite of many of the Asian girls we’ve seen portrayed in media as shy, quiet, introverted, obedient, geeky or worse, exotic. She’s extroverted, charismatic, and willing to be a leader because of a cause she believes in, but not because she seeks power. She reminds me a lot of my mother who is all those things, and who grew up in Chinatown forty years after Mercy. Mom would tell me stories about herself marching up and down the hills of San Francisco wearing heels because that’s what teenage girls in the fifties did, and I imagine Mercy having the same sort of fearlessness.

And that intention comes through in the novel. The San Francisco earthquake rocks not juts the city but Mercy’s world. Her life’s longing shifts. So far, she has driven herself so she can find release from “pernicious drudgery.” Now she has to reach within and beyond herself to find out who is really capable of becoming.

A 2017 Amelia Bloomer pick.

 

 

Celeste Ng on Female Asian American Writers

2014 was the Year of Reading Women, so Ng’s Salon.com article on Asian American women writers is a nice continuation of a thread that shouldn’t be allowed to go away.

Snippet:

This summer, I traveled around the U.S. to promote my debut novel, “Everything I Never Told You.”  At one university where I’d been invited to speak, I asked the professor hosting me how he’d found me.  He admitted he’d needed an Asian American woman fiction writer to balance his speaker lineup. “There aren’t a lot of you out there,” he said, with evident embarrassment.

Everything+I+Never+Told+You+-+Celeste+NgOn the personal front I was happy to see my book cited on her very comprehensive list.

And on the personal reading front, I’m taking Celeste Ng’s novel with me on the plane to Vermont because I have just started reading it and can’t stop.