Reply
Author
Erick_Setiawan
Posts: 122
Registered: ‎05-07-2009

A Note to the First Look Book Club

[ Edited ]
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

Message Edited by Kevin on 05-21-2009 09:17 AM
Erick Setiawan

For more information, please visit www.ofbeesandmist.com. Click here for Facebook.
Distinguished Bibliophile
Paul_Hochman
Posts: 2,801
Registered: ‎03-23-2007
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Hi Guys,

 

Erick will be rejoining the group on June 8th after you all have had a chance to begin his book.

 

Best,

 

P.

Inspired Contributor
januttall
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎09-26-2008
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 for providing us with a glimpse into the earlier part of your life in this introductory post as well as through Of Bees and Mist.  I think I can safely speak for others when I say we're looking forward to receiving and delving into our ARC's!

 

Talk to you soon!

 

Julie

Distinguished Bibliophile
pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Thank you for stopping by and introducing yourself. Welcome to the group.

I am looking forward to the book. I do computer software work. I am jealous that you can do computer science and write. Good for you. I hope to see a lively discussion.

Pen21

 


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 Correspondent
libralady
Posts: 159
Registered: ‎09-23-2008
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Erick,

 

Thank you for sharing your story with us!  Your book sounds very intriguing and I am very anxious to start reading it.  Thank you for making the book available to us on First Look.  I look forward to the upcoming discussions here on the board. 

"Sow today what you want to reap tomorrow"
Scribe
DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Thank you for the information, Eric. I look forward to reading your book!

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
Distinguished Wordsmith
aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Erick,

Thank you for sharing a little about yourself and the book with us. I can't wait to read your book and am looking forward to the discussions we'll all be having in June!

April
Frequent Contributor
sylvia387
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Erick,

 

Thank you for the pre-read insight.  Best wishes on your time with the First Look Book Club.

 

Looking forward to my ARC.

 

Sylvia

Sylvia

No expectations..No disappointments
Distinguished Wordsmith
MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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,

 

  You have lived through so much and many of us can't even imagine the turmoil you must have enduredYou have something about you that I can only wish to have, that being the imagination and courage to undertake such a project as a novelFor that I congratulate youI have a strange feeling that "Of Bees and Mist" is going to be a fantastic readBarnes and Noble and especially the First Look group has an uncanny ability of picking winning first time authors.  

  For now, all I can say is congratulations, and I'm sure we will be seeing more of you and your writing in the future

 

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
Distinguished Wordsmith
Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

[ Edited ]
Thanks for telling us a little bit about yourself Erick.  Just knowing something about where you're coming from makes your debut novel all the more intriguing. I think this may be a good follow up to Shanghai Girls by Lisa See, another ARC, which I have just finished reading.
Message Edited by Carmenere_lady on 05-13-2009 07:01 PM
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
Distinguished Correspondent
PB684
Posts: 182
Registered: ‎08-03-2007
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Dear Erick,

Thank you so much for allowing us to preview your first book and for sharing a bit of your background. I look forward to receiving the ARC and for the lively discussion I am sure will follow. PB684:smileyhappy:

 

...and Paul, is this the surprise you were talking about?:smileywink:

PB684
Distinguished Correspondent
ClaudiaLuce
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎01-31-2008

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Erik,

 

Thank you for your generous and insightful introduction to both you and your novel.  It foretells both an interesting read and interactive discussion within our group during the reading of your novel. 

 

I would like to welcome you to our group.  I hope you find what many of us have within this group - acceptance, joy, and the freedom to express ourselves with abandon.  I would like to think that maybe, in some small part, we can make up for some of the insecurities and discomfort you felt using your new language in our country, as we express in the language you are most comfortable in (the written word) how we feel about your writing.

 

The best to you as you undertake this new endeavor in your life.  I do believe you have begun a new path to fame and fortune! 

 

Claudia

 

 

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." -
-- Sir Richard Steele
Correspondent
nlsamson
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎03-18-2009

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Erick:

 

Prior to even opening your book, let me just thank you for allowing us, the glimpse into those childhood daydreams.  We will take very good care of them, I'm sure.  :smileywink:

As you can tell by reading some of the posts, we are all very excited about your book.

 

Nancy

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away" - unknown
Wordsmith
marciliogq
Posts: 244
Registered: ‎02-22-2008
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

I really got moved to the author's testimony. Language really has the power of transformating and destructing. His experience and persistence to language was something really dign to de admired. One of the  most beautiful testimonies I have ever read in all my life and made us reflect how language is internally conected to culture and behaviour.

 

Congratulations Erick Setiawan!!! If your aim was to become yourself a great author be sure you'll get it for your determination!

Frequent Contributor
Mommy-Read-Write
Posts: 139
Registered: ‎03-24-2009
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Dear Erick -

 

Thank you for sharing your story.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I know from personal experience the power of language and words.  Words hurt but they also have tremendous healing power.  Congratulations - on your book and your perseverance for a better life despite an antagonistic begiining.

 

I am greatly looking forward to reading your book.

Sheery

"Children are made readers on the laps of their parents."
~ Emilie Buchwald ~
Distinguished Bibliophile
Paul_Hochman
Posts: 2,801
Registered: ‎03-23-2007
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club


PB684 wrote:

Dear Erick,

Thank you so much for allowing us to preview your first book and for sharing a bit of your background. I look forward to receiving the ARC and for the lively discussion I am sure will follow. PB684:smileyhappy:

 

...and Paul, is this the surprise you were talking about?:smileywink:


 

:smileywink:

 

Inspired Wordsmith
Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Dear Erick,

 

I admire your determination. Leaving one's home to become part of a foreign culture is an aventure full of hope and nostalgia; to leave at such an early age shows boldness. I came to this country at the age of 25 and know quite well how lonely it can get, but I also remember those thrilling, random, first impressions - the ride from San Francisco Airport down south along Highway 101, a wall to wall carpeted livingroom, a TV show (I love Lucy) and a cherry tree in the backyard of my new home. 

 

Congratulations on your book and thank you for sharing the fruits of your imagination with us.

 

Gisela 

Inspired Correspondent
Read-n-Rider
Posts: 157
Registered: ‎01-29-2007
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Hello Erick,

 

Welcome!  It was very good of you to write and tell us about yourself and how you came to write Of Bees and Mist.  Though your work is a novel, I expect you could also write a fascinating autobiography about your life so far.  Congratulations on your success; I am looking forward to reading your book and having you visit with us here at First Look.

 

Joan

Distinguished Correspondent
Jennmarie68
Posts: 127
Registered: ‎02-09-2009
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Wow,

 

Thank you for sharing that with us. I am really looking forward to reading your book, and even more so now! 

 

I hope that your experience as an author is a good one and that you have found something that can make you truly happy. 

 

Again thank you for sharing, your perseverance is admired.

 

-Jennifer D

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.

Eleanor Roosevelt
Correspondent
joyfull
Posts: 50
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
0 Kudos

Re: A Note to the First Look Book Club

Dear Erick,

 

Welcome to the book club. Thank you for sharing your story. It touched my heart. It makes such a difference to me when I know something more about an author than only what has been written in the novel. Now when I read your book I will be reading Erick's words not some unknown author's words.

 

I am looking forward to the arrival of your book, to reading it, and the chance to talk with you about various aspects of the story. 



~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Margot
My blog: JoyfullyRetired.com