Song of myself
The exciting newish academic confraternity known as Post45 met this spring in Cleveland (I was slated to go and speak, but couldn't)—and now they have a forum on their website called "Contemporaries." Boston College's Min-Hyoung Song's piece, "Race and Racelessness in Ed Park's 'Personal Days,'" is uncannily good. (I'm biased, I know, but...)
His main focus is on the racial (and post-racial, and proto-racial) aspect of the novel, which most reviews ignored, and he articulates more or less what was on my mind in this respect (some very conscious maneuvers). The conclusions he draws are surprising and exciting (and in some cases aren't ones I necessarily had in mind, but which I totally buy). And especially thrilling is his defense of PD as a book—as a story told using the superficially simple technologies of the novel to deliver stuff that another medium couldn't. Very cool. (As I said on FB, it makes me want to write another novel!)
I'm excited for his book-in-progress, of which this will be (I think) a chapter.
I'm thinking of a quote from Sherlock Holmes: "What one man can invent, another can discover."
Min Song wrote the citation for Personal Days when it was a finalist for the Asian American Literary Award—which reminds me that I'll be taking part in a panel at the Asian American Writers Workshop on June 16. The topic: "How to Get Your Book Published." I'll be joining novelists Ed Lin, Wendy Lee, and Monique Truong, editor Zohra Saed, and agents Kirby Kim and Jin Auh. More details here.