"Who’s going to tell me a story set in Singapore with a protagonist named Mustafa or Mei-Jia? Don’t Asians fall in love, solve mysteries, and deal with conflicts? Don’t Asians have stories to tell too? Some of my students laughed; others shifted uncomfortably in their seats."
Read an eye-opening article about why it is important for Asian writers to be proud of their own stories.
Before I could think of the next step, I was pushed again by an officer. I ambled backwards to regain my balance, which was restored by a person whom I bumped against on my way down. As I struggled to regain my footing, I grabbed the arm of the person who broke my fall. As I stood up to thank the person, my eyes nearly popped.
“You!” that person gasped.
Read same sample chapters of a novel set against the fascinating backdrop of the military coup against Thaksin Shinawatra in Thailand.
‘Her Majesty’s government is in favour of independence for Miraucia – ’
‘This is a sell-out!’ Surcouffe exploded and started to shout, calling the British government all sorts of names. His fellow delegates’ attempt to restrain him proved futile and eventually two ushers had to step in to have him escorted out.
‘All right, all right,’ he pushed them away, ‘I’m walking out of this conference. I’m boycotting it.’
Read the first chapter of the new politically charged novel by Mauritian Chinese author Jacques K Lee.
"The society has no space for driftwood. We can liken society as a tidal force, its waves constantly pushing you forward, forcing you to accept their rhythm. They assume that the end goal of us all is There. All of us have to get There. What do you mean you don't want to get There?"
A Singaporean writer shares some wise ponderings about society and the complications of love.
"There are two men bickering over a loaf of bread like two hungry vultures. And it is less than a fragment of time when everyone around them pauses and witnesses the intricate tangle of love.”
Read some thought-provoking musings about love and all its strange nuances by a Malaysian writer.
“I grew up in Birmingham to English (read ‘white’) parents who were loving, but gave me steak and kidney pies to eat instead of rice. Not that they needed to give me rice, but I blame my lack of 'Chineseness' on the lack of rice I was fed as a kid.”
Read a mouth-watering story about food, culture and the humorous struggles of a British Chinese girl with white parents.
"I think my favourite memory of my time in Lijiang is when we all visited the KTV Karaoke Bar on a whim, singing dreadfully into the late night. I felt that I gained a personal insight into the Chinese way of life through the many communal dinners we shared. I love authentic Chinese food, though I’m not sure I’ll be going near any ‘Stinky’ Tofu anytime soon."
A globetrotting writer shares his experiences of China through evocative pictures and thoughts.
"Mrs Sutton the child psychologist takes me out of class once a week. I am usually doing some form of test: identifying objects, looking at painted shapes and forms, describing them and my feelings, playing games and I am often asked to draw. I love Mrs Sutton, she is very kind and looks after me. Every week she tells me not to worry that every child has a gift – we just need to find mine."
Read a moving, dark, pictorial story about abuse and damaging family relationships.
"...Someone asserted that the American public does not want to read books that primarily take place in foreign countries. Someone else said she had recently published a novel about adoption and it didn’t sell well, so she’d pass on mine…Then there was the editor who said she much preferred a novel she had published about the redemptive act of adopting Chinese babies.”
An American writer shares about her personal struggles of being an Asian novelist in a white washed publishing world.
She had been working at the bar for less than a week when the skin on her hands started to peel. Little bits of skin, translucent and pink, flaked off like Parmesan cheese. Then the cracks appeared. Tiny fissures ruptured at the joints and split her knuckles open. She started to bleed. Everyone told Ye Pei it was normal.
“We all go through this when we first start,” her boss said.
Read an extract from Meet Me in Venice - a beautifully written intimate account of a girl’s migration to Italy.
“We need writers who are brave enough to look beyond the televised "facts" to the underlying issues, to the questions of who and what is valued in this society, revealing the falsehoods and convenient myths that the powerful employ to maintain the status quo.”
A talented American writer shares an inspiring article about the power of good writing.
“…He found himself sharing the tragic plight of many Eastern European economic migrants. Like a character stuck in a foreign film with no subtitles, it was nearly impossible for him to negotiate for a better life.”
A Singaporean writer shares some moving observations of homeless people in the UK.
"I have been called out for being a fat Chinese person by relatives (even when they claim they don't mean harm. You have to love Asian bluntness). I had the worst kind of ignorance thrown at me during my school years – assumed to be a clever geek who allowed people to copy my homework, steal my stationery, be asked how to say something in Cantonese or Mandarin when I barely knew the languages well enough."
A British Malaysian writer shares about how she found confidence in the most unlikely place.
“I don't remember enjoying Asian books as a child. The small selection of Asian stories that I encountered were mostly either: based on folk tales, simple and earnest in promoting traditional values; or classroom readers, often penned by expat teachers and copywriters; or token works of literature by local authors.”
An ex-FHM magazine journalist shares about his journey to becoming a popular children’s book author and publisher.
The editor of our partner website The Anthill shares his top 20 books on China and also the books he’s not so keen on.
Check out his amazing guide and GET READING NOW!
“Why don’t they get married?”
“They’re not allowed.”
What do you mean?”
“My Papa’s already married. He has a wife”
Discover writing by a talented Mauritian author who is spending his twilight years pusuing his passion for words.
“I implore you to not allow the setbacks end your writing career. Your novel could be the one that opens the door for young authors after you. It could be THE book or one of the books that helps overturn the small mindedness of many risk-adverse editors.”
Our Top Banana shares her heart and experiences to encourage ethnic minority writers not to give up.
“People need to hear the sufferings of the people of Kashmir and let them decide what they want…Even as I write, some poor soul may lose his life because he didn’t give way on the highway to an army official.”
A Kashmiri writer based in Malaysian channels his deepest anguish into his words.
"I grew up in a wooden shack out in the sticks – and we were not poor. The poor were people who stayed in squatter settlements. Over half a million (a quarter of the population) lived in disease ridden fire traps, smelling of pigs, chickens and unwashed people… We didn’t have a flush toilet until the 1970s. Yes, we had a hole in the floor."
A Singaporean looks back on his 50 years on earth and gives some good advice for the “pubbing” youngsters of today.
WANTED: A HOME FOR A COMEDY SCRIPT.
Andrew T Lee is an American Chinese actor and writer based in LA. He is passionate about comedy and would love to hear feedback from other collaborators. Read about his script and support this Asian writer who is trying to survive in the cut throat world of Hollywood.
Also, joining us in our banana disco is Paula Lee, a Korean American Banana Writer who wrote a funny book about guns, game and headless chickens.
Read her feisty article about the lonesome, Asian comedian.
An Australian writer talks about being adopted and the emotions she felt upon meeting her birth mother for the first time.
BW salutes her bravery in writing about her experiences to encourage other adopted men and women.
Why should we pick up our pens and write? Why should we care?
“Writers, this is your wake-up call: unless we make people aware we are more than stereotype, that is all they will see.”
A Dutch Indonesian-Chinese writer talks about the important role of East Asian writers in western society.
“Dog butchering. It's not an easy topic. I know some Koreans might criticize me for revealing what some see as an ugly aspect of our culture. However, I want you to know that I didn’t write this story to expose something or to make a statement. I just wanted to twist a tragic ending and reverse it.”
A Korean author talks about balancing motherhood with her dreams and how she created a beautiful story out of a controversial topic.
A humorous Chinese writer shares about what it means to be a BBC, ABC and CBC, why many British Chinese people speak Cantonese and why racists should:
“WASH YOUR OWN PANTS.”
When someone is told that their joke is racist do they:
(a) Say you are being sensitive.
(b) Accuse you of having a crappy sense of humor
(c) Ignore you and carry on.
(d) Apologize and refrain from repeating the joke
BW is very excited to partner with writer’s colony The Anthill.
Just like us, they are passionate about encouraging new, talented writers. Their work covers narrative sketches, short fiction and other vignettes on China. We look forward to sharing our articles with The Anthill and vice versa.
Read a touching story about losing a loved one The Cornfield and The Graveyard.
We always do a Banana jig when our Banana Writers share their writing success with us !
After publishing her short story Mama's Boy on BW Melanie Lee has created a wonderful book Imaginary Friends. In this article, she speaks honestly about the journey to getting published.
Download a FREE comic by the amazing Peter Tran.
Bluntly put, happy people don't riot.
On 8 December 2013 around 400 South Asian migrant workers battled police and set vehicles ablaze in Singapore's worst riot in decades.
A Singaporean writer gives his honest opinion about the exploitation of migrant workers and society's role in the matter.
Paula Lee is a Korean American writer you don't want to mess with. For her, hunting deer with guns is just another day at the office.
Read an extract from her gripping memoir that would make Donald Duck quiver in fear.
Behind the food and smoke of Chinese takeaways are families with strong stories waiting to be told. Read the touching true life story of a girl growing up in a takeaway and the
sacrifices her family made
She of stunning beauty, silky long black hair and unending slender limb, demure, gentle, loyal and filial, and a lioness in the bedroom to boot...
A young, single East Asian guy shares his "mathematical" journey to find a wife more beautiful than Zhang Ziyi.
For foreigners who do not have a fairly good knowledge of China, Chinese is either Mandarin or Cantonese, which is nothing but a glaring misconception.
A Chinese writer gives a fascinating insight into the cultural value of dialects and why they should not be repressed in China.
Sometimes in life, we are too busy to stop and stare and we miss out on the wonderful experiences around us. Read the inspiring story of a stroke survivor who travels around the world in his red mobility scooter.
Photos are the keys to our memories. They can bind people together or tear families apart. Read the incredibly moving story of how a photograph of Elizabeth Taylor impacted the life of a young Filipino girl.
Meet a man who is an EGG. "White on the outside and yellow on the inside."
Bradley Wayburne has spent his entire life in Hong Kong and is still seen as an outsider. Read his funny account of surviving in SE Asia as an EGG.
I was not like them. I did not come from them.
Transnational adoption is an issue which leaves people divided. Yet, how does it really feel to have parents of a different race? Read the heart-breaking true story of one woman’s struggles as a transnational adoptee.
Trudging through life with school and work, most people get too busy to dream. One day you wake up and your life has flown by - your dreams forgotten.
A Singaporean writer shares about why it's so important to remember
our deepest aspirations.
In the 1960s, an influx of Chinese migrants moved from Asia to the UK for a better life. Yet, why are so many British East Asians moving to the countries their parents fought so hard to leave?
“In the heart of Kenya resides the warrior tribe of the Masaai. I set out to teach them singing but ended up being taught about the music of life.”
Read the amazing story about how the Masaai changed a teacher's life forever.
You’ve pulled all your hair out and ground your teeth down to stubs. Your novel is finally complete! Now what? Banana Writers have created our very own guide to getting a literary agent.
Kiasu (Chinese: 驚輸; Pe h-ōe-jī: kiaⁿ-su) is a Hokkien word that means 'fear of losing.’ Examples include queue jumping, piling your plate too high at a buffet and getting limited free tickets to an event. Are Asian people all secretly Kiasu?
People working in the creative industry face rejection everyday. However, being an Asian artist often means being ostracised by our families and friends. An American Chinese actor shares his story.