Jennifer Sookfong Lee’s The End of East(Thomas Dunne Books, 2008) explores isolation, immigration, and romance in Vancouver’s Chinatown through the eyes of a Chinese Canadian woman in her early twenties. Set on the outskirts of Ipoh in Malaysia, Preeta Samarasan’s The Evening Is The Whole Day, reveals the secrets that lead to the topsy-turvy unraveling of the prosperous Rajasekharan family.
Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, where she now lives with her husband. Her work has appeared in The Antigonish Review, The Claremont, Horsefly, and Jasmine. The End of the East — described byThe National Post as an “impressive” three-generational novel — was chosen for The New Face of Fiction program, awarded by Knopf to outstanding Canadian novels. Author Gail Anderson-Dargatz writes, “Whatever assumptions I had about Vancouver’s Chinatown have been supplanted by Lee’s vision of a world where family obligation is passed on through the generations, where personal dreams are sacrificed for family goals as a matter of course.”
Born in Malaysia, Preeta Samarasan finished high school in the United States and now lives in France with her husband and dog. She earned her MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan, where an earlier version of Evening Is The Whole Day won the Avery and Jule Hopwood Novel Award. Samarasan recently won The Asian American Writers’ Workshop/Hyphen Magazine Short-Story award. Her work has been published or is forthcoming in EGO Magazine, A Public Space, and the anthology Urban Odysseys: KL Stories. Author Peter Ho Davies has describedEvening as a “a magical, exuberant, tragicomic vision of post-colonial Malaysia reminiscent of Rushdie and Roy. In prose of acrobatic grace, Samarasan conjures a vibrant portrait, by turns intimate and sweeping, of characters and a country coming of age.”