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Inspired Contributor
gringorn
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎12-26-2007

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Dear Erick,

 

Your introduction of yourself was powerful in itself.  It would make a wonderful and touching story in and of itself.  Congratulations on your novel and your apparent adaptation to the US.  For the most part, the US as you probably know, is a very tolerant society so perhaps you could embrace your Chinese heritage and meld that to your American self.  I am definitely looking forward to your book........Thanks again.

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,832
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Dear Erick,

While you might have been shy and had trouble with our language, your courage inspires and awes me as I bet it did others that you have met since you arrived on our shores. What a gigantic step to come to a foreign land at the very young age of 16 and embrace our way of live that had to be so much different that what you had before. 

Thank you for taking the time to let us see into you just a little, the story of your life makes me more excited to get to read your debut novel and I can't wait to pick your brain about what fantasy lies between the pages.

Thank you again! 

Inspired Contributor
AnnJE
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
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Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Thank you, Erick.  It is wonderful to hear from you before we even begin your novel.  I have found myself reading several books about China and/or its people - THE SAMURAI's GARDEN, HOTEL ON THE CORNER OF BITTER AND SWEET, THE GINGER TREE.  I look forward to reading OF BEES AND MIST!

Julie

Inspired Correspondent
Amanda-Louise
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

[ Edited ]

What a wonderful, touching, heartfelt introduction!  Thank you for sharing. 

 

It makes me think of my little brother who has just moved to Tokyo and is likely experiencing the same panic when in fast food line ups.

 

Cheers,

Amanda

Message Edited by Amanda-Louise on 05-14-2009 12:52 PM
Wordsmith
Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Thank you for stopping in and posting a note to all of us anxious-to-be-reading readers.  I cannot wait to get started on your book. 

 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club


Erick_Setiawan wrote:
Dear Reader,

 

For most of my life, I have had an uneasy relationship with language, and even though I dreamed of it, I never seriously believed I could become a published writer. Silence was the language I was most comfortable speaking while growing up.

 

I was born in 1975 in Jakarta to Chinese parents. Routinely targeted as scapegoats, we were forbidden to speak Chinese or embrace any part of our heritage. Instead, we were forced to speak Indonesian, the same tongue used by the government and the masses to denounce us. I learned from early on that language could be used to oppress and discriminate and the only way I knew how to handle it was to withdraw into silence. Being painfully shy did not help. In fact, I was so quiet that for a long time my fourth grade teacher thought I was mute.

 

At sixteen, I left my family and moved to the States. I barely spoke English. The challenges of learning a new language and living in a new country brought all my insecurity to the forefront. I was ashamed of my accent. I remember sweating with apprehension while I waited in line to order at McDonald's. My uneasy affair with language continued after I enrolled at Stanford two years later (to this day, I believe they admitted me by mistake). Feeling inferior to all the brilliant students who had spoken English all their lives, I chose to major in Computer Science and stay away from classes that required me to speak. Yet something else happened to me in college. Reading fiction on the sly, I began to take comfort in the written word, and to discern avenues in English where my own native tongue had failed to afford me. I worked as a software engineer after graduation, but I was always reading and writing. I persisted, despite my doubts, and my novel is the result of that labor.

 

Of Bees and Mist is a literary fantasy about three generations of women in two families. The world they inhabit is entirely imagined, woven from customs and mythologies I have had the privilege of encountering. The book is my attempt to give words to the daydreams that saturated the silences of my childhood, and to show that language-more than an instrument of division-can also embrace and emancipate.

 

           

Sincerely,

 

Erick


Dear Erick,Admitting you to Sanford certainly was not a mistake..Believe in yourself,Paul and Bn certainly do..Since Paul is Our"leader"along with Rachel, we are going to pace ourselves with your book so we are all in the same mindset. I prefer to read a book such as yours exactly that way..Embracing every word...Even though we are many,it seems like a cozy group...Best to you..Vtc

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
Inspired Correspondent
EbonyAngel
Posts: 276
Registered: ‎12-22-2006
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Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

I now more than ever look forward to reading this book.
Contributor
mnbc
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎01-26-2009
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Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Dear Erick,

 

Thank you for sharing a little bit about yourself to us. I am very anxious to start reading your book. It sounds very intriguing to me and thank you for the opportunity of sharing it with us.

Book Lover
Frequent Contributor
booksJT
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎11-24-2008
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Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Hi Erick

 

Thank you for sharing a little about yourself. I am looking forward to you being a part of the first look book club. The title of your book sounds interesting and I am looking forward to start reading it.  

Contributor
Quzygirl
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎02-14-2008
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Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Erick,

   Thank you so much for the opportunity to preview your book! And to also give us a look into your life that so influenced your work. I look forward to opening the pages and entering into your world! Suzanne 

CAG
Inspired Correspondent
CAG
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎01-15-2007
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Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Thank you Erick for sharing some information about yourself with us. I am looking forward toreading your book.
CAG
Frequent Contributor
Rabid_Reader
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎11-11-2008
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Thank you so much for giving us some insight into your life, and how you came to write your novel. I generally like reading the letter from the author that comes with the first look book, and I was distressed to see that Of Bees and Mist didn't have one in it. I like reading an authors thoughts about their writing, before I delve into it. I was very happy to see that you left us a message here. I look forward to begin reading your book as soon as I'm done typing this message!

 

Rabid_Reader

Contributor
CL77
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎04-30-2009

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Dear Erick,

 

Your letter made me cry.   Thank you for sharing so much with us readers. I feel so lucky to have this chance to hear from you directly and for three weeks.  :smileyhappy:

 

Having grown up in the Philippines with many Chinese friends, I understand what you mean by the discrimination against overseas Chinese. It wasn't as bad in our country but the news of what was going on in Indonesia and Malaysia were terrifying and so sad.

 

Without having yet received the book, I so much want to shout my excitement to the world. I hate to be so biased but after reading your letter I am so certain that I will love it and will want everyone I know to hear your words and your story.

 

Congratulations on having done so much despite tough odds, and at such a young age!

 

 

 CL77

gl
Distinguished Correspondent
gl
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Dear Erick,
I've always felt that learning about the author, his process, and how he came to bring his story to the reader adds to my appreciation of the book.  Your letter though was so much more than that.  Thank you for choosing to share so much of yourself.  :smileyhappy:
I'm so excited to start your book and our discussions!
The book cover is beautiful!
 gaby
 

 
Erick_Setiawan wrote:
Dear Reader,

 

For most of my life, I have had an uneasy relationship with language, and even though I dreamed of it, I never seriously believed I could become a published writer. Silence was the language I was most comfortable speaking while growing up.

 

I was born in 1975 in Jakarta to Chinese parents. Routinely targeted as scapegoats, we were forbidden to speak Chinese or embrace any part of our heritage. Instead, we were forced to speak Indonesian, the same tongue used by the government and the masses to denounce us. I learned from early on that language could be used to oppress and discriminate and the only way I knew how to handle it was to withdraw into silence. Being painfully shy did not help. In fact, I was so quiet that for a long time my fourth grade teacher thought I was mute.

 

At sixteen, I left my family and moved to the States. I barely spoke English. The challenges of learning a new language and living in a new country brought all my insecurity to the forefront. I was ashamed of my accent. I remember sweating with apprehension while I waited in line to order at McDonald's. My uneasy affair with language continued after I enrolled at Stanford two years later (to this day, I believe they admitted me by mistake). Feeling inferior to all the brilliant students who had spoken English all their lives, I chose to major in Computer Science and stay away from classes that required me to speak. Yet something else happened to me in college. Reading fiction on the sly, I began to take comfort in the written word, and to discern avenues in English where my own native tongue had failed to afford me. I worked as a software engineer after graduation, but I was always reading and writing. I persisted, despite my doubts, and my novel is the result of that labor.

 

Of Bees and Mist is a literary fantasy about three generations of women in two families. The world they inhabit is entirely imagined, woven from customs and mythologies I have had the privilege of encountering. The book is my attempt to give words to the daydreams that saturated the silences of my childhood, and to show that language-more than an instrument of division-can also embrace and emancipate.

 

           

Sincerely,

 

Erick


Inspired Contributor
Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Erick,

 

Thank you for sharing your story with us. My book arrived yesterday and I started to read it last night.  I look forward to the discussion in June!  Jo

Frequent Contributor
artist4nature
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎09-02-2007
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Erik

Thank you for your introduction and the opportunity to read your book. I look forward to the discussions - Congratulations on your past accomplishments.

 

A4N

Distinguished Wordsmith
Zeal
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎03-18-2009
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club


Erick_Setiawan wrote:
Dear Reader,

 

For most of my life, I have had an uneasy relationship with language, and even though I dreamed of it, I never seriously believed I could become a published writer. Silence was the language I was most comfortable speaking while growing up.

 

I was born in 1975 in Jakarta to Chinese parents. Routinely targeted as scapegoats, we were forbidden to speak Chinese or embrace any part of our heritage. Instead, we were forced to speak Indonesian, the same tongue used by the government and the masses to denounce us. I learned from early on that language could be used to oppress and discriminate and the only way I knew how to handle it was to withdraw into silence. Being painfully shy did not help. In fact, I was so quiet that for a long time my fourth grade teacher thought I was mute.

 

At sixteen, I left my family and moved to the States. I barely spoke English. The challenges of learning a new language and living in a new country brought all my insecurity to the forefront. I was ashamed of my accent. I remember sweating with apprehension while I waited in line to order at McDonald's. My uneasy affair with language continued after I enrolled at Stanford two years later (to this day, I believe they admitted me by mistake). Feeling inferior to all the brilliant students who had spoken English all their lives, I chose to major in Computer Science and stay away from classes that required me to speak. Yet something else happened to me in college. Reading fiction on the sly, I began to take comfort in the written word, and to discern avenues in English where my own native tongue had failed to afford me. I worked as a software engineer after graduation, but I was always reading and writing. I persisted, despite my doubts, and my novel is the result of that labor.

 

Of Bees and Mist is a literary fantasy about three generations of women in two families. The world they inhabit is entirely imagined, woven from customs and mythologies I have had the privilege of encountering. The book is my attempt to give words to the daydreams that saturated the silences of my childhood, and to show that language-more than an instrument of division-can also embrace and emancipate.

 

           

Sincerely,

 

Erick


 

Erick,

 

Thank you so much for sharing your first book with us and also your personal experiences.  I am a teacher, and your story made me immediately think of my English Language Learners.  Language can create barriers or open doors, but everyone needs to feel validated, safe, and accepted.  Some adolescents can make school a very difficult place for these things to happen.  I am glad that you had the courage to pursue writing, and I am really looking forward to reading your debut novel!  Congratulations on all of your success!

 

Aimee

"I learned to dream through reading, learned to create dreams through writing, and learned to develop dreamers through teaching. I shall always be a dreamer."
Sharon Draper
Inspired Correspondent
bookloverjb85
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎10-12-2007
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Erick,

Thank you so much for sharing your life experiences with us.  I wanted to read the book when I read the description of it and now I am even more impatient to start reading.  You have gone through so many hardships and to have a debut novel is a great accomplishment.  Thank you for sharing your book and your time with us here on First Look.

--Jen--

"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
Correspondent
bud12
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎01-26-2009
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

How sensitive you are. I know I'm going to love the book!
Jo
gl
Distinguished Correspondent
gl
Posts: 128
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Hi Paul,

 

I'm not sure what the protocol is for this and wanted to ask you.  I am really excited about Of Bees and Mist, in part because of the book and then even more so after I'd read the letter from the author.  

 

I had wanted to share Erick Setiawan's letter to the FL group on my blog.  I figured that I'd ask his permission first directly.  Should I also check with B&N?  If so, how would I do so? 

 

Here's the letter that I'd sent to the author.  I thought I should show it to you to be sure.

 

Thank you in advance for your advice.

 

Regards,

Gaby

 

 

 

Dear Erick,

I was very moved by your letter and am even more excited to begin the discussions on your book.  

I have been posting about it on my blog and wanted to announce that I'd received the book (gorgeous cover) and to the acknowledgment, dedication and your letter.

 

May I have your permission to post the text of your letter on my blog, with a sentence explaining that this was sent to B&N First Lookers?

 

In case you'd like to check out my blog before deciding, it is "http://startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com/"

 

Starting Fresh at www.startingfreshgaby317.blogspot.com

http://startingfresh-gaby317.blogspot.com

 

Thank you and congratulations!! 

 

Regards,

Gaby Lapus