Dana Sachs Interview: The Secret of the Nightingale Palace

Author Dana Sachs (photo by Cornel Faddoul)

Of all the memoirs by Western women who loved Asian men (and wrote about it), The House on Dream Street by Dana Sachs remains one of my favorites. The writing is exquisite, but more importantly she shares her own vulnerabilities on the page and becomes one of the most delightful narrators I’ve ever encountered.

So imagine my excitement when I discovered that Dana came out with a new novel this year called The Secret of the Nightingale Palace featuring not one, but two stories about Asian men and white women falling in love. The romance at the heart of this novel — which relates to its intriguing title — just stole my heart away. Plus, the book explores a side of World War II that we all too often forget — the US internment of Japanese Americans.

I’m thrilled and honored to have this opportunity to interview Dana Sachs about The Secret of the Nightingale Palace.

Dana is also the author of  the novel If You Lived Here and the nonfiction narrative The Life We Were Given: Operation Babylift, International Adoption, and the Children of War in Vietnam, and co-authored the book Two Cakes Fit for a King: Folktales from Vietnam along with Nguyen Nguyet Cam and Bui Hoai MaiBoth The House on Dream Street and If You Lived Here were chosen as Book Sense Picks.

You can learn more about Dana by visiting her website, her Facebook fan page, or her Twitter stream. Continue reading “Dana Sachs Interview: The Secret of the Nightingale Palace”

Review of “Kissing Outside the Lines” by Diane Farr in AMWW Mag

Kissing Outside the Lines by Diane FarrAMWW Magazine just recently posted my book review of Kissing Outside the Lines: A True Story of Love and Race and Happily Ever After by Diane Farr.

I mentioned this book last month in a list of memoirs by Western women who love other Asian men. But I really felt the book deserved a review of its own. Kissing Outside the Lines could become the go-to guide for any women who happen to date Asian men and live in a Western country like the US; her experiences with Korean-American Seung Yong Chung cover everything a couple might face:

  • Confronting prejudice and racism
  • Dealing with family and parents (on both sides)
  • Learning more about his Asian culture
  • Planning a cross-cultural/international wedding (they end up having two weddings — one in South Korea, one in the US)

I also think this book can inspire Asian men out there still looking for love — as I said in my review, “who says that Asian men can’t land babelicious former MTV hosts?” In fact, cvaguy, one of my longtime commenters, also gave this book a thumbs up in a comment. I agree with him — this is a smart book written by a very smart woman.

Here’s a snippet from my review:

When Diane Farr first spotted her future Korean American husband from the dance floor, she actually “took both index fingers and pulled on my eyelids, making the international sign for ‘Yes, Charlie Chan…I mean you,’” to signal him over.

This is the first of many cringe-worthy moments in my book review of “Kissing Outside the Lines” between her and a guy she first dubs “the Giant Korean.” (I’m not kidding.)

Who would expect that this same white woman would end up writing about her relationship with a Korean man in her memoir entitled “Kissing Outside the Lines” — one that explores the idea of interracial/interethnic/interfaith relationships as a whole?

Or, for that matter, that she would do it with an intelligence and sensitivity you wouldn’t imagine from a woman who once used a “slant-eye” reference in a pickup scenario.

Read the full review here. And check out Kissing Outside the Lines here.

Book Review: Electric Voices and Stinky Tofu by MandMX

Electric Voices and Stinky Tofu by MandMX
Electric Voices and Stinky Tofu, the first book by MandMX, brings the comics to China, through bumbling, "innocent abroad" situations hilariously told in Chinese and English

With the popularity of Manga and artists like Crumb, it was only a matter of time before comics went to China.

MandMX.com — billed as “The One and Only Chinese/English Comic Strip on the web!” — has celebrated (and poked fun at) life in China for foreigners and Chinese since 2008, in a uniquely bilingual comic with MandMX’s signature bug-eyed, and often seemingly paranoid, characters doing and saying the things we only imagined or kept hush hush.

I wonder how that character must feel now, knowing that MandMX are taking him and his crazy foreigner-in-China world to print — in their first book titled Electric Voices and Stinky Tofu.

These comics do so much more to put the reader right back in China, Continue reading “Book Review: Electric Voices and Stinky Tofu by MandMX”