The Art and Craft of Asian Stories: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology

Robin Hemley and Xu Xi
Published in 2021
by Bloomsbury Publishing

Edited by Robin Hemley, author of Turning Life Into Fiction (Graywolf Press, 2006), and Xu Xi, author of This Fish Is Fowl: Essays of Being (University of Nebraska Press, 2019), this craft book finds inspiration and guidance in the diverse literary traditions of Asia. Featuring works in translation by writers from Japan, China, India, Singapore, and beyond, as well as writers from Asian diasporas in Europe and America, this guide and anthology offers a wide range of voices and approaches to crafting short fiction. “Our aim is to open up a world of stories you might not otherwise come across and to glean from these stories’ techniques and approaches, some of which you might find in your typical fiction writing text and some that you likely wouldn’t find,” write the editors in the introduction to the book. Each of the eleven themed chapters includes a complete short story and writing exercises that invite readers to practice narrative techniques used by exemplary writers such as Lysley Tenorio, Nam Le, Dorothy Tse, and Banana Yoshimoto. Covering themes such as race and identity, history and power, family and aspirations, this guide offers a fresh take on craft that invites writers to look beyond the western canon.