Friday, February 14, 2014

Chang-rae Lee

Chang-rae Lee latest book is On Such a Full Sea. From his conversation with Maud Newton for the Barnes & Noble Review:

Maud Newton: I've been a fan of your novels for a long time, but this is a really different kind of thing.

Chang-rae Lee: Yes. Obviously, I knew it was a very different kind of thing, but I tried not to think about it. The more I thought about it, people asked me what I'm working on and I started talking about it, I'd get kind of scared. [Laughs]

MN: It's both futuristic and contemporary, quasi-apocalyptic yet hopeful about humanity at the same time. A couple of years ago you told James Mustich that you were working on a contemporary novel. Is this that book?

CRL: No. But this book came out of that book, and that book was about contemporary China. I had gone to China and done research, and it was going to be focused on the factory cities along the Pearl River Delta, outside of Shenzhen. It was going to be a social realist novel about that whole world, and have an American connection, and it was just going to be this big, sprawling book about China. But after doing all the research -- I really enjoyed it, going over there and seeing everything. I went into this cool factory and saw all the dormitories, this whole little world --

MN: What was your primary impression of it? Mostly depressing, or was it--?

CRL: It was...[read on]
--Marshal Zeringue