Wayson Choy is back in his home town of Vancouver. He is reading as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
UBC Robson Square
Tuesday March 11th, 2008
7:00pm, 800 Robson Street, plaza level
“Wayson was the highlight of the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts,” retired librarian Richard Hopkins told me. “He did an amazing reading, then spent a long time signing books with each person, giving them folded origrami figures.”
“Gracious” is the word I always use to describe him. He always presents a thoughtful presence.
I got to know Wayson personally when I was on the inaugural One Book One Vancouver program, for the Vancouver Public Library. Wayson's novel Jade Peony was the only choice for Community Programming Director Janice Douglas and Corrine Durstan, Popular Reading Senior Librarian.
Wayson was born in Vancouver, and his magnificent first novel Jade Peony is set in Vancouver Chinatown, as is his memoir Paper Shadows, and his follow up novel All That Matters – nominated for the Governor General's Award.
The Jade Peony was originally published as a short story for the anthology “Many Mouthed Birds”, edited by Jim Wong-Chu.
In 2002, Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop honoured Wayson with an ACWW Achievement Award at its first ACWW Community Builder Dinner, where we honoured Roy Mah, with the inaugural ACWW Community Builder Award. Wayson shared stories about growing up in Chinatown and hanging out at Roy Mah's Chinatown News Office, to visit his childhood friend Larry Wong. Larry was also on the inaugural One Book One Vancouver committee.