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 »

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim – Perhaps The Best Book About Mental Illness, Asian Identity, and Family That I’ve Read – Ever

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim. A badge at the bottom-left that says, 'Reviewed by CW, The Quiet Pond'. In the centre is a image of Xiaolong, the pink axolotl wearing a flower hat, waving at you.

Blurb:

Anna Chiu has her hands pretty full looking after her brother and sister and helping out at her dad’s restaurant, all while her mum stays in bed. Dad’s new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren’t right at home, she’s starting to feel like she could just be a normal teen.

But when Mum finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse. And as Mum’s condition worsens, Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other.

CW’s review:

I received an ARC of the book from the publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book.

Take note of this review’s title: The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim is one of the best books that explore mental illness that I have ever read – ever. Take note, because I absolutely mean it and I think everyone should read this book. The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling follows Hong Kong-Chinese-Australian teen Anna, who spends a lot of her time wrangling her younger siblings and making sure they are ready for school, helping at her father’s Chinese restaurant, and trying to be a teenager herself while her mother who stays in bed for weeks at a time. Don’t be fooled by this book’s bright and soft cover – though The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling has its sweet moments about teenagehood and first love, it also has some confronting and candid explorations of mental illness within Asian communities and its impact on family.

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The Pond’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2019, Part III. – Eight Diverse Books That I’ll Inevitably Love in 2019

TEXT: The Pond's Most Anticipated Reads; eight diverse books that I'll inevitably love in 2019. Image: Xiaolong the pink axolotl, reading a book and sitting inside a book tent and fort, surrounded by books.

Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening friends! Welcome back to the Pond and thank you for being here today.

After delving into the many lists on Goodreads about new releases in 2019, I had planned to write a short and sweet ‘top 8 most anticipated books of 2019’. However, I soon realised that one post detailing my top picks for 2019 was not only inadequate, but also impossible. Today, therefore, is the third post of my week-long event of The Pond’s Most Anticipated Reads of 2019!

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