STORIES BY STRANGERS WITH POWERFUL MESSAGES
What images does the word “Chinese” stir up in your mind? Do you think of the strange-looking workers who built the railroads before 1900? Or the quiet math genius from your high school whose strange-sounding name you’ve long forgotten? Perhaps you recall a mysterious man who paid for a car or even a house with bags of cash.
At a time in which globalization has reached its peak, we’ve all learned to work with and live amongst various strangers, yet probably only read books written by writers with familiar names; names similar to our own.
Purple Pegasus, a California-based independent publishing company that primarily publishes literature by writers of multicultural heritage, presents a new short story collection by nine ethnic Chinese writers. The nine stories are strategically arranged into three sections, each led by an epigraph that concisely epitomizes the feeling of being a stranger in a strange land.
In the first section, Rui Wang, Lily Liu, and Allan Cho explore an immigrant’s struggle to free themselves from the burden of their past. This theme is beautifully highlighted by an excerpt from Rabindranath Tagore’s book-length poem Stray Birds: “Once we dreamt that we were strangers. / We wake up to find that we were dear to each other.”
The second part, led by a quote from Carson McCullers’ The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, includes stories by Lily Chu, Jieru Zhou, and Yili. They explore the concept of migration as a means of discovering oneself.
The final part of the anthology consists of three love stories by female writers: Christina Yao, Ma Lan, and Xiaowen Zeng. These works echo what Albert Camus fatalistically wrote in The Stranger: “I opened myself to the gentle indifference of the world.”
Anna Wang Yuan edited and forwarded the anthology. She also conducted interviews with each author about their life and work. These interviews make up the anthology’s unique Q & A sections which follow each piece.
Take a chance on a group of virtually unknown authors and see how they’ll surprise you.
Book Title: The Strangers: Nine Stories by Nine Immigrant Writers Brought Together by One Concept
Paperback: $9.75, ISBN: 978-0-9966405-1-0
Hardcover: $17.99, ISBN: 978-0-9966405-0-3
E-book: $2.99, ISBN: 978-0-9966405-2-7
Publication Date: February 23, 2016.