Monday, October 19, 2015

Had a great time discussing My Half of the Sky at this October Book Club. While I didn't know anyone when I arrived, I felt as if we were old buddies when I left...and I realized that we shared (at least) two common friends. The world seems so large, and yet is mysteriously small.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Book Signing

On the 8th, I'll be at the History Park at 635 Phelan Avenue, San Jose, 
signing copies of Blossoms and Bayonets. 
Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

#Essence of Good Writing

One of my pleasures is judging stories. What makes them work. What doesn't.
One trend I've noticed is the tendency for a writer to have his/her protagonist moving through space and time solo--not interacting with anyone. Not the person on the park bench next to him, not the man who has just stolen her suitcase, not the people in her workplace. There's almost this bubble of silence around the main character that might be filled with texts ("God, I got stuck next to the stinkiest old woman." Or "My boss screwed me again.")
Okay, so maybe this is not a new trend. New writers have always been hesitant to get their characters to talk much. That requires understanding the backstory, mood, goals of each character. So troublesome.
But human interaction is a mystery to us all--and one we want to read about.  #Ditch the bubble of silence.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Don't Allow Rape Of These Women Again

Yumiko Yamamoto is President of a group calling itself, “Japanese Women for Peace and Justice." It is anything but that. This group is more interested in denying past history, specifically the 200,000 plus Asian and European women who the Japanese conscripted as sex slaves. They—as well as the current Abe government-- say this sex slavery never happened, and Yamamoto is travelling to the Bay area and Los Angeles as a part of a larger effort to “put an end to the lie.”
As co-author of Blossoms and Bayonets—the story of the Japanese occupation of Korea during WWII—I spent several years researching this topic. These women don’t’ deserve to be raped yet again by having Yamamoto and the Abe Government revise history.
Yamamoto will hold a press conference. A protest will follow. If you are able please show up:
Saturday Dec 13, 2014
Press Conference 5:00 PM
Protest 5:30-7pm
Redwood City Community Center
1400 Roosevelt Ave. Redwood City, CA 94061

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Don't Censor Your World. Read a Book.

I briefly heard an interview on NPR--so briefly that I didn't catch who was being interviewed. However, I did remember her words. When the interviewer asked, "Does censorship in your country make it difficult to speak your mind?" this author said, "There are two types of censorship. Those imposed by others and those that are self-imposed. I look at so many people today who, by their own choice, do not read books. Their worlds consist of Facebook notifications and Twitter posts. That self-censorship is just as bad."
I couldn't agree more.
So, this holiday season, don't censor your world. Read a book. And pass it on.
I'll be signing books at the Holiday Craft Faire up on Summit Road. It's a great time to pick up holiday gifts...and is right next to the Summit Christmas Tree Farm. Hope to see you there.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

A Book To Bring You Out of A Reading Rut

The Many Thoughts of a Reader Blogger Emily Dittmer wrote yesterday of Blossoms and Bayonets
Oh my goodness.  You know when a book brings you out of a reading rut? Wow.  I was interested in the book when I heard about it but then I started it and man, I didn't want the story to end. 

What People Are Saying About My Half of the Sky

My Half of the Sky was the BookSense Pick for August 2006 as well as a Forbes Book Club Pick.

"McBurney-Lin tells a wonderfully entertaining story with the traditional coming-of-age theme (which is experienced universally)...weaving in the cultural challenges of growing up in China's rapidly changing social system."
Mary Warpeha, co-President of the Minnesota Chapter of US-China Friendship Association
March 2010

"The novel ...includes many of the tales and the folk ways of the people living in the rural areas of South China, still followed provincially. The story takes place in current China, but could relate the dilemma of any young woman in rural China through the ages."
Kitty Trescott, National Board of the Midwest Region of US-China Friendship Association. March 2010

"A lot is expected of a young Chinese girl. My Half of the Sky by Jana McBurney-Lin is the story of Li Hui, a young girl who has just achieved marriageable age. She seeks to make the most of herself, but the expectations all around her make it difficult, as her parents seek to use her as pawn to their advantage, she is faced with what she believes to be true love. She must balance career, romance, and family, all to somehow make everyone happy, a tough endeavor indeed. An engaging and entertaining read from beginning to end, "My Half of the Sky" is a poignant tale of the modern Chinese woman, and recommended for community library collections.
--Midwest Book Review November, 2008

“It is a rare women’s novel that sensitively describes the life of a young educated woman in modern-day China in its full complexity, without resorting to unnecessary sentimentalism. Jana’s deep knowledge of the realities of life in China and Singapore makes the reading extra rewarding. In fact, with every new page the novel gets harder to put down and you find yourself gobbling it up before you know it. Finally, the author has given a voice to the Li Hui in all of us, as we struggle for the golden middle between tradition and the modern momentum of our world.”
Isabella Sluzek
Friends of the Museum Book Review 2008

You'll be rooting all the way for Li Hui as she struggles, ahead of the curve, to be her own woman in an emerging, modern China. Jana McBurney-Lin's My half of the Sky is a beautiful, witty, touching debut novel.
Thomas B. Sawyer
Head Writer TV Series "Murder, She Wrote,"
Author - The Sixteenth Man

A complex and mesmerizingly original tale of a young Chinese woman caught between the modern world and the pull of her ancient culture. McBurney-Lin’s intimate portrait of China sparks with insights and is peopled with characters so rich and alive, they seem to breathe on the page. Dazzling and unforgettable.
Caroline Leavitt,
Author - Girls in Trouble

McBurney-Lin's debut novel is a gift. Li Hui is a memorable heroine, a young woman torn between her heart and her culture.Her daunting journey is a trip into China's complicated soul, and a deeply moving exploration of love, honor, duty, and loss." Frank Baldwin, Author - Balling the Jack

My Half of the Sky is a wonderfully-crafted story that was obviously written with a piece of McBurney-Lin's heart. A masterpiece."
Lee Lofland, Author - Howdunit: Police Procedure and Investigation

My Half of the Sky heralds the arrival of a fantastic new storyteller. With artistry and precision, Jana McBurney-Lin's clear-eyed prose takes the reader on a new journey into a past world that speaks to a modern sensibility, a modern world, a modern woman. This is a book to be treasured.
Emily Rapp, Author - The Poster Child

Through vivid descriptions of sights and smells, Jana McBurney-Lin's My Half of the Sky is a haunting, emotional journey of what it means to be an honorable female in modern China. Jill Ferguson, Author - Sometimes Art Can't Save You