107. Author Jane Wong on Writing, the Immigrant Experience, and American Identity
Welcome to another episode of the Willoughby Hills podcast!
Jane Wong is a poet, author, and professor of creative writing and literature at Western Washington University. Her new memoir Meet Me Tonight in Atlantic City is a series of essays about her life experience.
The children of Chinese immigrants who were in an arranged marriage, Jane grew up in New Jersey, where her parents owned and operated a Chinese restaurant. Jane’s father became addicted to gambling, eventually losing the business and leaving the family. Her mother worked night shifts with the United States Postal Service to provide for the family.
Jane’s memoir is a non-linear portrait of her life, weaving together anecdotes from her childhood with scenes from later in life that follow a similar narrative throughline. The book is refreshingly honest and looks at the issues around immigration, gambling, identity, beauty, relationships, and much more.
I really enjoyed talking to Jane about her writing process, her family’s story, and why she chose to write this memoir. The book is a really good read- you can check it out here.
Jane is also a ceramic artist, and you can follow her ceramic work on Instagram.
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