Ed Lin, author of the novels This Is a Bust and Snakes Can't Run, will be making a rare west coast appearance next week to read from his first novel Waylaid. It's been eight years since the book was first published. Ed reflects on how its been received, then and now:
When this book first came out, I was attacked by many publications that decried my “miserable“ (San Francisco Chronicle) young narrator who wallowed in sexual fantasy while toiling at his parents' motel in Jersey. A lit blog that has since shut down called it “garbage.“ I had readings on the East Coast where people would regularly walk out. A jerk at Cornell essentially called me a homophobe, as if the depiction of homophobia was homophobic.Count me in! I think it's a great book. Anyway, Ed will be in Los Angeles and San Francisco next week for a reading and signing at Giant Robot. The basics:
But the book also found strong support. I was chuffed to see a nice review in Playboy, and Booklist just loved it to death, as I did and still do.
Now that time has gone by, it's amazing to me how many Asian American lit classes have included the book or excerpts from it. In fact, Jessica Hagedorn saw fit to include the first two chapters in the groundbreaking Charlie Chan Is Dead 2 anthology. I think someone made a movie out of it, too. And even my old pal, the San Francisco Chronicle, remarked years later that Waylaid was “well-received“ while giving a slightly more positive review for This Is a Bust.
Monday, April 26, 7 pm
2062 Sawtelle Blvd
Thursday, April 29, 7 pm
Giant Robot SF
618 Shrader Street
By the way, the movie Ed's talking about is Michael Kang's coming-of-age indie film The Motel, which was inspired by Waylaid. To learn more about Ed Lin and his novels, visit his website Ed Lin for President.