Thursday, February 02, 2017

What is Janie Chang reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Janie Chang, author of Dragon Springs Road: A Novel.

Her entry begins:
For the past couple of years I’ve read mostly non-fiction about China: memoirs, journals, biographies, academic papers, and studies. Now that my second novel is released and there’s a lull of a couple of weeks, I’m making a small dent in the TBR stack on my bookshelf. It must a backlash against all that non-fiction and history because the books I was in the mood to read had nothing to do with history or China.

Invisible Dead by Sam Wiebe. Full disclosure, Sam is a friend. But I only made friends with him after becoming a total fan-girl of his writing. Call the style Vancouver Noir. Like Wiebe’s debut, Last of the Independents, Invisible Dead is set in my hometown of Vancouver, Canada where there is (really is) a very high number of missing and murdered indigenous women whose cases remain unsolved. Through private investigator Dave Wakeland, we follow the 11-year old case of one Chelsea Loam. It’s a complex, clever story but what really gets me is...[read on]
About Dragon Springs Road, from the publisher:
That night I dreamed that I had wandered out to Dragon Springs Road all on my own, when a dreadful knowledge seized me that my mother had gone away never to return...

In 1908, Jialing is only seven years old when she finds herself abandoned in the courtyard of a once-lavish estate near Shanghai. Jialing is zazhong—Eurasian—and faces a lifetime of contempt from both Chinese and Europeans. Without her mother’s protection, she can survive only if the estate’s new owners, the Yang family, agree to take her in.

Jialing's allies are Anjuin, the eldest Yang daughter, and Fox, an animal spirit who has lived in the haunted courtyard for centuries. But Jialing’s life as the Yangs’ bondservant changes unexpectedly when she befriends a young English girl who then mysteriously vanishes.

Always hopeful of reuniting with her long-lost mother, Jialing grows into womanhood during the tumultuous early years of the Chinese republic, guided by Fox and by her own strength of spirit, away from the shadows of her past. But then she is drawn into a murder at the periphery of political intrigue, a relationship that jeopardizes her friendship with Anjuin and a forbidden affair that brings danger to the man she loves.
Learn more about the book and author at Janie Chang's website.

The Page 69 Test: Three Souls.

Writers Read: Janie Chang.

--Marshal Zeringue