Our Friend is Here! Asian Heritage Month Edition – An Interview with Wai Chim, Author of The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling; On Writing Histories, Diaspora Families, and Mental Illnesses

Our Friend is here, asian heritage edition. author interview with wai chim, author of the surprising power of a good dumpling, on writing histories and mental illness. illustration depicts xiaolong the axolotl with her arms wide, showing off wai chim as a quokka, giving a wink and wearing big round glasses

Our Friend is Hereis a guest feature at The Quiet Pond, where authors, creatives, and fellow readers, are invited to ‘visit’ the Pond! In Our Friend is Here! guest posts, our visitors (as their very own unique character!) have a friendly conversation about anything related to books or being a reader — and become friends with Xiaolong and friends.

Asian Heritage Month Edition is a month-long event at The Quiet Pond, where Asian authors and bookish content creators are invited to celebrate being Asian, Asian books, and the experiences of being an Asian reader. (Note: Here is an explanation of why we are calling this guest series ‘Asian Heritage Month’.)

Last year, I had the privilege of being given an advanced reader’s copy of one of my favourite books of all time. At the time, I had no idea that I had received a book that would soon find its way into my soul, tell a story that would make me feel vulnerable and raw, and would make me firmly believe that it is one of the most important young adult stories for teens, especially Asian teens, today. Read More »

Book Recommendations: Historical Fiction About ‘Invisible’ Moments in History

Book Recommendations with Varian: Historical Fiction and invisible histories. Illustration of Varian the toad, dressed up as a 13th Doctor from Doctor Who.

Welcome back to the Pond and welcome to another one of Varian’s recommendation posts! In case you’re new to the Pond’s recommendation posts, the recommendation posts are brought to you by Varian, the Pond’s very own Toadshifter who is knowledgeable in all kinds of magic! One of Varian’s ambitions is to get better at sewing, hence why whenever Varian has shown you their latest costume, they will always recommend a book that inspired that costume.

A genre that I don’t usually talk about – but actually consistently enjoy reading – is historical fiction! I’ve never consider myself a history nerd but there’s something so incredible and amazing when you learn about something that actually happened. (And indeed, one of my favourite things to do after reading historical fiction based on real events is to go and research it extensively and then tell everyone that I know about it.)

Even more special to me, is when I learn about a piece of history that not a lot of people know about. It makes me think: if this author hadn’t written this book and I hadn’t read it, I would never have known about it and others may never have known about it. And I think that can be an exceptionally humbling thought. That’s why, today’s book recommendation post is dedicated to historical fiction books that centre on an ‘invisible’ piece of history.

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