Wednesday, April 30, 2014
So, how *does* one dress to buy dragonfruit?
We have a cover!
Although it's just one story in an anthology, I'm mighty excited to actually be published (I mean, I've been published before in journalism - nothing fancy - but never in a book). It's not a full-on book by me, but hey, maybe someday...
It's not that often that one of these travel writing anthologies includes a story from Taiwan, but thanks to my own story, Gods Rushing In, that isn't a problem this time around. It's even rarer that the stories in question are written by women - a lot of the modern "Taiwan expat experience" books out there seem to be written by men with a strong male perspective, which, you know, is great, it's one angle - but there aren't that many female expat voices speaking up on the Beautiful Island.
I have a memory of reading a review for Stranger in Taiwan (a book I never read, because the way the subject matter was tackled, in a typical brobro expat guy way, did not interest me) with the line "Anyone who has been here any length of time will have had the same experiences and will instantly be able to relate to them: the hospital. The Girl. The Family. The Job. Touring with The Girl" and thinking, "wait...what? No. Bro...no. I've been here quite a length of time and of those, only two are something I can relate to - the hospital and the job. We don't all have the same Asian Girlfriend and Her Family experience." Not that there's anything inherently wrong with that experience, but these days it seems to be the only one that gets a lot of airtime.
Mostly it's my own laziness that has kept me from starting a project like that already, one told from a different perspective with a different voice. I always say I'll find the time, and then I don't. I would probably also structure it as a series of stories, but attempt to achieve narrative flow. But...laziness, I guess. That and a fear that although I have a lot to say, that nobody's going to be that interested in hearing it. Perhaps it's the Confidence Gap. Hell, maybe the confidence gap is the reason why there are so many "guy stories" in expat literature and so few female ones, and maybe I'm underselling myself and I ought to change that. At the very least I know I am not an awful writer.
Yep, maybe someday.
Anyway, I love the background design - colorful and bright, clearly a dragonfruit, but also artistic - and it's really nice to see what the finished anthology will look like.
How Does One Dress to Buy Dragonfruit? True Stories of Expat Women in Asia goes on sale on June 10th, but you can follow their Facebook page here and see a list of contributors here. Once the electronic copies are ready to be distributed, keep your eyes out for reviews!