Here’s a little something about Expatriates author, Janice Y.K. Lee.
Janice Y.K. certainly knows the world that she writs about. though not an expat, she herself grew up in a Korean home in Hong Kong. She told The Wall Street Journal that she often felt that she didn’t fit in. “To be local in Hong Kong you have to be a local Chinese or English and I was neither of those things.” She relocated to the United States to attend boarding school and later Harvard University. After graduation she moved to New York City and got a job Elle Magazine and later on at now defunct Mirabella Magazine. It was there that she realized that if she “stayed on this career track, she would have not time to write her own book.” So she left the magazine to enter an MFA writing program at Hunter College headed by noted author Chang Rae Lee. She began writing short stories , one of which would eventually grow into her first novel, The Piano Teacher. After five years, and the birth of her four children (including twins), she was able to sell a draft of that book. (Lee) says that her books each took five years to write , and that she now considers this her “normal gestational period.”
Though many critics consider The Piano Teacher to be historical fiction, Lee says it was never her intention to continue writing in that particular vein. ” I had always read literature that was contemporary, and that was my first love. She further described her creative process for The Expatriates in an interview with blogger Sara Nelson. “My books always start with an image or character. And for this, it was an image of a woman who was just lying in bed. She didn’t want to get up and it was the daytime, and there had been a dinner party. I didn’t know where it was. I didn’t know what it was, and I just started writing from that. I was reluctant to write another novel set in Hong Kong, because I didn’t want to be pigeonholed…but it just ended up organically that that’s where the story went.” Further I think it’s a very sympathetic book about women. It’s such a female world there. Expat Hong Kong is a community of women during the weekdays…men are not around. So you become very good friends with other women who are leading the same lives as you.” She told The Wall Street Journal, ” This book is about women and mothers–and that transcends nationality and geography. It’s all the stuff we go through and that ultimately binds us.”
WWW.WSJ.com/articles/SB123145869715966177, Goodreads.com/author/show/1605157/Janice y.K. Lee