The first time I heard of Ian Hamilton and the Ava Lee series was a few years ago at the Blue Metropolis Festival here in Montreal. I was scouring the schedule deciding who to see when I spotted his name and the description of Ava Lee, the main character, a Chinese-Canadian forensic accountant. What? There was a crime series featuring a Chinese-Canadian woman? I had to go hear what Hamilton had to say.
I finally got around to reading the first book a few weeks ago when my friend and blogger, Tranquil Dreams, lent it to me. Ava Lee is a forensic accountant and has a partner in Hong Kong simply Continue reading →
With Canada celebrating 150 years, my friends, Jean, May, Celia and Wanda and I decided to brave the rain forecast, and see the parade and the festivities at the Old Port. With a rain jacket and an umbrella tucked into my backpack, I met them at the corner of Peel and St. Catherine where the parade would turn down on the homestretch. Continue reading →
I thought I’d kick it off by introducing an author I met last summer in Ottawa at a book festival called Prose in the Park (read the post here.) Melissa Yuan-Innes, a.k.a. Melissa Yi, is an emergency doctor and the author of a doctor-detective series that is set right here in Montreal. I purchased the first book Code Blues and enjoyed it so much I bought the second, Notorious D.O.C. I’m officially hooked. It’s no surprise to me Continue reading →
A couple of weeks ago, I received an e-mail invitation to a Chinese Tea Salon. The invitation explained that the event was “to meet, eat, drink and exchange about diverse projects in the arts, community and academic sectors. This gathering is inspired from tea houses in China (茶館, cháguăn or 茶屋, cháwū ) traditionally similar to the America Café, but centred on tea and to chat, eat and socialize.”
It sounded interesting and it was potluck. I bought mini chocolate chip muffins at the grocery store after work and headed over to the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University where the salon was being held.
The tea salon was inspired by Montreal artist Mary Wong who has been organizing tea houses for visual artists. This evening, which was organized by Janet Lumb and moderated by Alice Ming Wai Jim, an Associate Professor of Contemporary Art at Concordia University, was an opportunity for Montrealers to talk about their projects.
It was a fascinating evening. Each speaker had an interesting angle on their research and artistic project:
Olive Li Hui, a visiting professor, teaches a course about Chinese-Canadian women writers at Sichuan University in China;
Tracy Zhang explained how acrobatics is used as an instrument of cultural diplomacy in Taiwan and China;
Alan Wong spoke of race and sexuality;
Cheryl Sim, a media artist, talked about her project exploring the relationship women have with the cheong sam;
Leslie Cheung, a PhD student, talked about youth of color, the second generation and their search for identity;
Joanne Hui asked and answered the question “How does art teach?”
Henry Tsang, an associate professor at Emily Carr University in Vancouver, B.C., gave an impromptu talk on what it is to be Chinese;
And yours truly gave a brief talk about the inspiration behind my writing.
I wouldn’t be able to do justice to the speakers by trying to explain their projects, but a five minute video tape of each presenter, including me, will be available soon on the Asian Canadian Wiki site. I’ll post it when its available. To read more about the presenters and the evening itself, click here.