August 31, 2018
On the future of Canlit
You guys, this is my last Open Book column.I have been writing this column for a year now and I’ll admit I didn’t know what I was going to write about when Holly Kent and Kevin Hardcastle asked me ...
July 31, 2018
On writers, politics, and when to just stop talking
Once upon a time, before the age of social media, Canlit was inclusive and kind, and political differences were settled amicably over whisky in private festival hospitality suites and the kind of dark ...
June 21, 2018
On the business of writing
In 2002, when I formed my writing group (still going strong!) with June Hutton and Mary Novik, we made a promise that we would always, always share our experiences with the business of writing—the shadowy ...
May 21, 2018
On racialized motherhood, writing, and sleep deprivation
The day before my son’s due date, I sent what I thought was the final draft of The Better Mother to my editor. The baby’s bedroom was finished: yellow walls, penguin stencil, gingham curtains. My ...
April 25, 2018
On respectable narratives and why diversity on the page matters
Growing up, I was very particular kind of Chinese girl. I attended Chinese school on Saturdays. I took piano lessons. My report cards were always the best in my class. I played first clarinet in my school ...
March 21, 2018
On writing politically, or how not to make your fiction sound like a lecture
When I started writing my most recent novel, The Conjoined, I began with the idea of subverting classic crime fiction, something that I thought would be a fun bookish game. What if I could write a literary ...
February 16, 2018
On reading politically, or why the good old days are a flat out lie
It’s a funny time in the world of words. Every morning, when I log into Twitter, people are debating freedom of expression and the politics of how we read. Some of this is just nonsense, really just ...
January 15, 2018
On Margaret Atwood and the new Canlit
It’s nine o’clock on a Sunday night and my son is asleep. This is a time reserved for me, a time when I usually don’t work or think about work, when I sometimes watch Stephen Colbert videos, or ...
December 29, 2017
The Canlit Year in Review: 2017 Can Suck It
I remember the moment when I realized that 2017 was going to irrevocably change Canlit. It was early in June, and I was sitting on a stage, speaking at a panel on diversity and the appropriation of voice. ...
November 29, 2017
So You Want to Write About Race
Somehow I have become on expert on writing race.This was not something I planned for. When I started publishing, I was writing fiction about Chinese Canadian characters, about families who had been invisible ...