BWS 11.11.20: Zoë S. Roy

Zoë S. Roy is the author of three novels: Spinster KangCalls Across The PacificThe Long March Home, and a short fiction collection: Butterfly Tears, published by Inanna Publications. Her literary fiction always focuses on women’s cross-cultural experiences. Besides creative writing, Zoë has also created several Wikipedia pages.

My Protagonists

I write literary fiction. My most recent novel is Spinster Kang. If you’re interested in it, you could take a look at a book trailer on YouTube. If you’d like to know what inspired me to create the protagonist, you could read the Interview with Zoë S. Roy, author of Spinster Kang.

Very often, some readers conclude my fiction is a family history or a memoir. A few of them assume that The Long March Home tells my family story. One reviewer thinks Calls across the Pacific is a “woman’s historical fictional memoir.” Another reviewer says Spinster Kang “has an autobiographic feel to it.” All these comments make me feel as if I lived several lives.

In an interview from Ricepaper, a question was asked about whether the protagonist in Calls across the Pacific was based on myself or anyone else. My answer was neither. The stories I heard about “the sent-down youth” during my youth in Mao’s China inspired me to write the short story, “Yearning.” The research about the escapee evolved from my corresponding with a pen pal in Hong Kong about the successful attempts by defectors from mainland China. My walk across the bridge at the Lo Wu Immigration Control Point between Shenzhen and Hong Kong confirmed to me that my protagonist, Nina, would be able to swim halfway to reach Hong Kong.

As Alan Moore put it, “use lies to tell truth.” I invent stories to show what I’ve learned from literature, what I’ve experienced in life, and as well what I’ve perceived about other human beings in the world no matter whether they live in my era or different times.

If you’re curious about what my fictional character inspiration is, you could read “My Confession: Exploring the Intersection between Memoir and Story.”

However, I have a little confession to make: Tania, the second main character in Spinster Kang, has the two characteristics, the same as that of a friend of mine: “a retired professor” and “never married.” To commemorate this friend who passed away last month, I’m enclosing a photo of myself with her in 2016.

Zoë S. Roy visits Brockton Writers Series via ephemera series on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 starting at 6:30pm alongside Joshua P’ng, Jamie Tennant, and Larry Baer. Dina Del Bucchia, writer, podcaster, literary event host, editor, and instructor, will give her talk on, “Podcasting for Fun (And Zero Dollars”.

Special note: As we adapt to current social distancing regulations, we’re happy to announce our event will be hosted by the wonderful ephemera series! They have already done their show online multiple times, so we are thrilled to benefit from their technical expertise, while also increasing collaboration within the literary community and growing connections between organizers, authors, and audience. You can attend the event by watching on the ephemera series YouTube channel. Please log in at 6:15.


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