I first heard the name Celeste Ng through a feminist newsletter someone had forwarded to me part of their ” 10 Books By WOC Authors You Must Read” post. I became familiar with Celeste words or voice, if you will while researching cultural identity, searching for writers who’ve written on the subject. Celeste Ng is a fiction writer multiple essays (mainly fiction and her love of fiction), short stories, won numerous Publication (fictions) awards, and her debut novel ” Everything I Never Told You” was on the New York Times Bestseller list, and was Amazon’s #1 Best Book of 2014. ” Everything I Never Told You” is a book that I am all too familiar with, from the restroom at JC Penny to my Kdrama forum, everyone is raving about this novel.
Summary via NYT: a literary thriller that begins with some stock elements: a missing girl, a lake, a local bad boy who was one of the last to see her and won’t say what he knows. The year is 1977, the setting, a quiet all-American town in Ohio, where everyone knows one another and nothing like this has ever happened before.
What’s great about the novel is the subject matter, understanding what it means to be a mixed-race couple or family in Ohio in the 1970’s, struggling ones own cultural identity, dealing with one’s mental health, grappling with the fear of the unknown, and knowing that everything around you is unraveling. I think it’s a sediment of the author, Celeste Ng is an author that evokes emotion, merging fiction with the struggles faced in today’s society, and her stories seem to transcend generations and genres. She is able to capture the hearts and minds of diverse readers.
Note: “Everything I Never Told You” is a part of my “books I must read before 2018” list
Though I am not as familiar with Ng as am other artist/writers, I am familiar with her voice, the cultural identity crisis most children of immigrants face living in two different worlds. the one provided by your parents and that of society. Her short stories and essays are filled with understanding oneself, connecting with one community and rejecting another. Ng and her stories are vocal about issues that plague today’s society, from immigration reform to political unrest. As an author, writer, activist, and self-proclaimed nerd, Ng is someone who doesn’t hold back and continues to push the limits.
As someone who is interested in cultural identity, subjects on oppression and more, Celeste Ng’s voice and words are engaging. I hope to learn and read more of work in the future.
News: Ng’s second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, will be published by Penguin Press in fall 2017
Check out her interview with NPR: ‘Everything I Never Told You’ Exposed In Biracial Family’s Loss
You can also check out her Twitter@pronounced_ing, ask her questions and comments about her writing