Friday, July 4, 2014

Dragonfruit Round-up 3: Catherine Rose Torres, Christine Tan, Michelle Borok, Barbara Craven and Eva Cohen

I'd like to introduce the next five contributors to the Dragonfruit anthology. If you haven't been following along, we are featuring one writer per day on the Dragonfruit Facebook page. There are some pretty cool women writing about Asia at the moment, so I hope you'll find lots of extra reading material here:

Catherine Rose Torres, author of How to Marry a Moonie (South Korea)

Catherine Rose Torres's prose has appeared in anthologies and periodicals in the Philippines, Singapore, and the United States, including The Philippines Graphic, TAYO Literary Magazine, Tomo: Friendship Through Fiction, and Motherhood Statements. Her work as a diplomat has taken her to postings in New Delhi and Singapore, together with her husband, Sohn Suk Joo, a Korean scholar and translator, and their son, Samuel. She is at work on her first collection of short stories.

Recently, Catherine's YA novel manuscript Sula's Voyage was chosen as the first runner-up in the Scholastic Asian Book Award 2014.

You can read her story, The Mariposa Gang, here and another one called Blown Glass here

Christine Tan, author of An Awkward Phone Call (China)

Christine Tan has lived in Canada, Malaysia, Singapore, and England. A graduate of the London School of Economics-Fudan University program inGlobal Media and Communications, she has written for CNN Travel, Matador Network, chinaSMACK, and the Atlantic. She recently permanently relocated to her hometown of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia after a decade abroad. She and her husband are now expecting their first child! Christine is also at work on a memoir, tentatively titled A Skeptic's Guide to Love and All That Stuff.

Formerly blogging at Shanghai Shiok!, you can find Christine online here.

And on Twitter @christinehtan and Facebook

Michelle Borok, author of Giving in to Mongolia (Mongolia)

Michelle Borok lives in Darkhan, Mongolia with her husband, daughter, Tibetan Mastiff and a huge family of Mongolian in-laws. She writes about her life in Mongolia on her blog, Wonton Cruelty.

She is an editor at Mongolia's first English language newspaper, the UB Post, and also writes for Asian-American arts and culture site, Giant Robot.

Her writing has also appeared in Roads & Kingdoms and They're All So Beautiful, a forum on race and dating.

Barbara Craven, author of Kampong House (Malaysia).

Barbara Craven lived for three years in Malaysia on a tourist visa. She has published over one hundred articles and short stories in the United States, Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. Her publishers include airline magazines, newspapers, lifestyle magazines, and literary journals. "Kampong House" is the true account on which the first chapter of her unpublished novel, One More Border to Cross, is based. She resides in Olympia, WA, United States.

Eva Cohen, author of Jewish in China (China)

Eva Cohen is a journalist, photographer, blogger and artist who currently lives in Los Angeles. She is originally from Canada, and spent three years inEast Asia in Nanjing, Beijing and Hong Kong.

Her China journey began as an English teacher at a college an hour outside of the Nanjing city centre where she was the only foreign female for miles around. Prior to moving to China, she had studied Chinese for three months once a week after work, but the amount covered in that time (pretty much just how to say "Hi, my name is," and "I am Canadian") is what a foreigner needs to learn within a day of landing in China.

Eva's goal in moving to China was to find a media-related job, so she traveled to Beijing over a weekend while teaching and got a position as a producer and host at China Radio International. The job and the cultural differences with party abiding Chinese citizens was very stressful, and the regimented way state media was run was not for her, so her next move was to Hong Kong to work for the Financial Times Group's Mergermarket (since sold to private equity).

In Hong Kong, Eva met her husband, an American-born Hong Konger, at a bicycle film festival - a film festival about bicycles. While they have recently relocated to Los Angeles, Eva's current job is as a multimedia reporter for the Hong Kong conglomerate Next Media Limited, and the division she works for, TomoNews, is based in Taiwan, which has given her the opportunity to travel there for work.

In Eva's story included in the anthology, "Jewish in China", she focuses on exactly that: what it was like to show up to Nanjing unsure of how Chinese people would react to a religious affiliation, and to realize it would hold so much more than she expected. The deep respect given by so many she met feels especially potent this year to her with the rise in global anti-Semitism; shootings at Jewish centers in the U.S. and Europe, among other tragedies.

Eva would like to thank everyone for reading this anthology, as she believes giving a voice to women is extremely important, and the stories she is included with relay such interesting stories by strong, smart and motivated ladies.

For more stories and photos from Eva's Asia adventures, check out her blog She can also be followed on Instagram and Twitter @VivaciousEC

You can find the Dragonfruit anthology at the following links:

Amazon (paper and e-book)
Barnes & Noble (paper and e-book)
Smashwords (e-book)
Apple (e-book)

And for a shameless plug, if you'd like to read my Hong Kong escalator love story, I'm running a Kindle Countdown Deal at the moment. The Art of Escalator Jumping is $0.99 until July 8th (which also happens to be my birthday). The normal price is $3.99.

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