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Kevin Chong Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Baroque - A - Nova (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Beauty Plus Pity (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Plague (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Double Life of Benson Yu (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Neil Young Nation (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
My Year of the Racehorse (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Northern Dancer (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Kevin Chong is a literary fiction, memoir, and biography author from Vancouver. The author was born in Hongkong but in 1977, his family moved to Vancouver where he spent most of his childhood and young adulthood.
In 1997, he graduated with a Creative writing degree from the University of British Columbia. By 2000, he had graduated with a Master of fine arts degree from Columbia University.

He published “Baroque-a-nova,” his debut novel in 2001, and over the years, he has become a critically acclaimed author.

His works have won the National Magazine Award, a BC Book Prize, a CBC Prize, been named books of the year by the National Post, Globe abnd Mail, been optioned for TV and film, and been published in Australia, Europe, and in the US.
In addition to his literary fiction work, she also publishes non-fiction. His journalistic and nonfiction works have been published in the South China Morning Post, the Guardian, the Rumpus, and several Canadian trade publications and newspapers.
He currently makes his home in Vancouver, where he is a University of British Columbia assistant professor.

Unlike most authors, Chong does not remember the exact moment he decided that he wanted to become a professional author.

He loves to joke that since he was painting himself in a corner and had nothing else going on in his life he decided to go to school and study to become an author.

He found that he enjoyed writing and being a writer and was lucky that he had parents that supported him through his undergraduate and graduate degree years.

Since he had fullhearted confidence in his abilities as a writer, his parents gave him their full support through a very expensive creative writing master’s degree program.

While he was never that brilliant student he managed to get his thesis published and at that time he thought he had made it only to discover how wrong he was. He spent two years doing coursework at Columbia and the third before he graduated.
He still remembers how Columbia had these little mail slots for every grad student to get their mail. At some point, his box was right above that of Booker Prize-winning novelist Kiran Desai.

Kevin Chong has said that for him fiction writing is all about extracting, expanding, and clarifying experiences. This is what he strives to do whenever he is promoting a book or teaching,

Moreover, by writing and teaching, he always has to do some research which means he gets to experience new things in new daunting ways. He finds the act of writing a book to be deeply fulfilling, vexing, and transporting.
In that regard, he sees it as an opportunity for repurposing his experiences and takes his readers on a journey where they can connect with his experiences and those of other people.

“The Double Life of Benson Yu” by Kevin Chong tells the story of a survivor of sexual abuse who fictionalizes his pain as a way of processing it.

He had made his name as the creator of the comic books that featured the lead character Iggy Samurai, a teenage iguana who makes his home in Central Park.

He works alongside a samurai master named Coyote Sensei who has been reincarnated as a coyote.

While his comic boos are loosely autobiographical, Benson is yet to come to terms with the trauma of his youth, which has left him struggling with alcoholism, anxiety, and depression.

But then he gets a letter from the karate teacher named C who had molested him when he was just a child. The noxious man wants payment as he believes he is responsible for the inspiration of Coyote Sensei.

In his noxious letter, he asserts that some of the things written in the comic are right from his mouth. The stinging words motivate Yu to try his hand at something new. He pens a work featuring Benny, a 12-year-old who lived in Chinatown during the 1980s.
According to Benson, he undertakes the project so that he can understand the many challenges and mistreatment, and misfortune he had to deal with as a child.

Kevin Chong’s novel “The Plague” is a modern retelling of the classic work “Camus” that tells a story of quarantine and infectious disease in the modern age of rising inequity and social justice.

It starts out with dead rats piling up in cataclysmic numbers alongside a range of other city creatures. It is not long before people have to deal with swelled lymph nodes and flu-like symptoms.

When the official diagnosis comes in, the masses react in disbelief, and soon after, the increasingly terrified city has to deal with the imposition of a quarantine. The work is inspired by “The Plague,” the classic 1947 novel by Albert Camus.
This novel follows Dr. Rieux as he tries to fight what proves to be a treatment resistance disease. He does this while he tries to find meaning in suffering.

He works alongside several people including an American writer named Megan Tso that was on a book tour before he got trapped in the city. There is also a city hall reporter named Raymond Siddhu who is working at a failing daily newspaper.
It is a work with a lot of dark humor that also explores the frailties of human behavior. The novel also explores themes such as the psychological strain of quarantine and heroism in the face of futility which were also present in the original work by Camus.
Another important theme is the cultural and political anxieties of the modern world that we all have to live with.

“Beauty Plus Pity” is a modern tragicomic story that tells the story of Malcolm Kwan. The man is a twenty-something-year-old Asian Canadian who makes his home in Vancouver and is just about to start a new life as a model.
But his life is thrown into a tailspin following the betrayal by his fiance and the death of his father who was a filmmaker. Soon after that, he met his half-sister Hadley who he never knew even existed.

She was born of an extramarital affair his father had at one time. As they become closer, Malcolm is forced to look deeper into his relationships with women including an art teacher and his mother.

Written with a plaintive yet winsome eye, the novel is the story of a young man who has to confront the past, even as he works through his ambivalence toward a confused cultural identity.
He also has to reckon with his father and mother who have been keeping some dark secrets.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Kevin Chong

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