Writing Asian Stories: a PSA and a rant.
I did a major rant on Twitter, inspired by a tweet I saw where a white author has published an urban fantasy/paranormal romance with a Chinese protagonist. I have to admit I am a little annoyed that books about POC by white authors are still lauded while books about POC by POC are not marketable. And the uncomfortable feeling of cultural appropriation and consumption of POC culture by white people... which led me to tweet-rant about writing Asian stories. I don't want people to consume POC stories because they are all about exoticization/fetishization. I want people to read stories where Asians are Asians, stories of joy and of who we are. 


I want Asians in stories of 1. Joy.  2. Of being who we are.  It's not about the Struggle(s) at the time. I want slice-of-life, happy, *real*, own voices stories.   

Writing to fit a certain checklist: no. 

I want to see Asians (diaspora, sourceland etc) doing their own thing. Not exoticized, not Othered by white consumption. Stories of us. 

Not just confined by the very visible Chinese New Year/Moon Cake Festival, but smaller things like our daily lives.   Not saying that we shouldn't talk about our festivals, but festivals are festivals, but we also have normal lives. 

Of course, there *are* authors who write stuff like that - but I think the problem is that they are not visible enough. 

Visibility is a tricky thing. Visibility also comes with a confluence of who wants to highlight/promote you, luck, and publishing at the right time. 

So, yes. I want more happy/joyful Asian stories, with slice of life and realistic scenarios, because honestly, the Struggle isn't everything. Asking us to write to certain tropes is also erasure and omission. 

Us writing things about festivals etc are at-the-surface things. Perhaps this just keeps the whole diversity thing "safe". Us writing about real life threatens assumptions that gasp, we can have normal lives like white folk. 

 So, more to stories of joy, of who we are.   Here's to 2018.