Thursday, February 2, 2017

Ed Lin

Ed Lin is the author of several books and is an all-around standup kinda guy. Waylaid and This Is a Bust were both published by Kaya Press in 2002 and 2007, respectively, and both were widely praised. Both also won the Members’ Choice Awards in the Asian American Literary Awards. His third book, Snakes Can’t Run, was published by Minotaur Books in April 2010; it was loved by many and also won an Asian American Literary Award, and was followed by in One Red Bastard 2012 and Ghost Month in 2014. Lin, who is of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards.

Lin's latest novel is Incensed.

From the author's Q&A with Molly Odintz at MysteryPeople:

MO: Incensed is, and isn’t, a crime novel – it does contain gangsters, guns, and murder, but it’s just as much about Taiwanese politics and Taipei nightlife. How did you balance the topics you wanted to explore with the crime genre?

EL: I’m trying to challenge the paradigm of what a crime novel is. I am really against the good-vs-evil dynamic. I feel like everyday people are capable of monstrous acts under certain circumstances and that we all have positive and negative elements to our personalities. I think about the taijitu, the so called “yin-yang” circle. In places where the white or black is still dominant, there are still small circles of the opposite element.

In my Taiwan series, I’m portraying crime as a societal outgrowth. Only crimes that a society deems intolerable are illegal, after all. I saw a documentary on PBS that profoundly affected me. A single mother working two jobs lost them both and fell behind on her mortgage payments. The bank repossessed her house and held a bankruptcy auction. Someone bought her house for $20,000. They got a bargain. The bank got its tax writeoff. The single mom had sank $30,0000 into that house over the years and she and her kids ended up in a homeless shelter. That’s a crime but perfectly legal. I think about that a lot, the individuals who suffer from what society accepts and tolerates.

In Incensed, I’m likening homophobia, and immigration to a lesser degree, to that line dividing acceptable and tolerable. There are “good” and “bad” people on both sides. Jing-nan himself finds himself to be more homophobic than he likes to admit, hence...[read on]
Visit Ed Lin's website.

The Page 69 Test: Snakes Can't Run.

The Page 69 Test: One Red Bastard.

My Book, The Movie: Ghost Month.

Writers Read: Ed Lin (October 2016).

--Marshal Zeringue