Alex Kuo’s latest book, “White Jade and Other Stories” rides a rocky divide. Writing from a ChineseAmerican perspective, the short pieces that make up this collection support his personal political agenda. As such his voice does need to be heard, but literature does not sit easy with work that is one-sided, driven by emotion instead of reason and flagrantly guilty of the twin sins of omission and distortion.
Author Sarah Shun-Lien Bynum knows how complicated growing up can be. Her first novel, National Book Award finalist “Madeleine is Sleeping,” explored the turbulent, often surreal world of adolescence. There, Bynum revealed the tragedy that can hide behind the physical or hormonal changes that put an end to childhood. Far too many of us want to stay children, want to stay unformed and unfocused as adults, escaping into a private void we mistakenly call “freedom.”
Working within the emotionally associative forms of poetry and memoir, award-winning poet David Mura has already created a body of work that tackles head-on complex issues such as sexual desire and addiction, race relations and the unspoken consequences of U.S. WWII internment camps on later generations of Japanese Americans.