April 29, 2022
Book Therapy: Good Mom on Paper
“Children require their parents to search for small moments of peace or grace or dignity. Maybe we can treat creativity the same way: creating the one true thing within a project that is otherwise just ...
March 29, 2022
The challenges (and joys) of receiving feedback
I am not proud of it, but my initial response to feedback on my writing is an instant NOPE. No way! ABSOLUTELY NOT. “What if you switched the point of view to third person?”NOPE. No way! ABSOLUTELY ...
April 15, 2021
"I Continued To Write It Anyway" Jen Sookfong Lee Shares Her Best Advice, Memories, & Tips from Her Iconic Writing and Publishing Journey
Jen Sookfong Lee has been leaving readers awed and moved for years with her powerful and award-nominated novels, nonfiction, and children's books. She also knows a thing or two about publishing, working ...
April 28, 2020
Literature in Isolation
“When this is over, remember how important books and movies and television and music and public radio were to your experience and your ability to get through a really hard time.”—Elisabeth de Mariaffi In ...
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 ...