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Coquitlam author imagines immigrant horror stories in new novel

March 8, 2023

Lindsay Wong, a Pinetree Secondary graduate who grew up in Coquitlam and now calls Burnaby home, teaches creative writing at the University of Winnipeg.

A former hockey player with the Tri-Cities Predators, Wong debuted The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids and Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family, a memoir that made the finals for Canada Reads in 2019.

That year, she also came out with a young adult novel called My Summer of Love and Misfortune.

And last month, the UBC and Columbia University graduate released a fictional work titled Tell Me Pleasant Things about Immortality — a collection of 13 short stories that delve into the family secrets and inherited traumas of immigrants.

Like Woo-Woo, the book is receiving critical acclaim.

The Tri-City News spoke with Wong; here’s an edited transcript of the interview:

How often do you return to Coquitlam?
“I was there for Christmas and I’ll be back in April for some events. My parents live in Coquitlam.”

How did growing up in Coquitlam influence your writing?
“I had a very structured childhood. There were always a lot of activities: hockey, school, piano lessons. I didn’t start writing until UBC. At Pinetree, Ms. McNeill taught creative writing. I loved her class.”

Why do you write?
“I think it’s really to make sense of whatever I’m feeling or thinking at that moment. For a writer, there’s a lot going on in your brain, so it’s a good way to explore themes. For this latest collection of immigrant horror stories, I really wanted to write about diaspora and Chinese immigrants.”

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