SummerWords 2015: Kirstin Chen & Nayomi Munaweera
Kirstin Chen, author of Soy Sauce for Beginners, and Nayomi Munaweera, author of Island of a Thousand Mirrors, in a reading and discussion at American River College’s SummerWords 2015.
00:11 Nayomi Munaweera reading from Island of a Thousand Mirrors
20:27 Kristin Chen reading from Soy Sauce for Beginners
31:29 Q&A – How do writer’s handle violence as a topic?
37:03 Did you purposefully add specific/real details of your country in your book?
39:12 Is your first novel your baby?
42:18 Do you feel pressure to tell the immigrant story?
46:42 Does writing a book on contract hurt the creative process?
48:02 How do you find balance in teaching culture vs entertaining your readers?
52:24 Are you only considered a writer of color now?
NAYOMI MUNAWEERA’s debut novel, Island of a Thousand Mirrors, about two women living through the 26 year long Sri Lankan civil war was originally published in South Asia where it was long-listed for the Man Asia Literary Prize and the Dublin IMPAC Prize. It won the Commonwealth Regional Prize for Asia and was short-listed for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. Nayomi lives in Oakland, California and is currently at work on her second novel.
KIRSTIN CHEN is the author of Soy Sauce for Beginners, featured in USA Today’s “New Voices”, an O, The Oprah Magazine book to pick up now, and a Glamour book club pick. A former Steinbeck Fellow in Creative Writing, she holds an MFA from Emerson College and a BA from Stanford University. She was born and raised in Singapore and currently lives in San Francisco, where she’s at work on her second novel, set on a tiny island off the coast of southern China in 1958.