Friday, February 10, 2012

Junying Kirk, writer

Junying Kirk's ability as a writer shouldn't be underestimated. I first befriended Junying on Goodreads. We exchanged stories of our experiences and commonalities. She's knowledgeable, articulate, and honest and a voracious reader. She was born in the 1960s and grew up during the Cultural Revolution in China. In 1988, she moved to the UK where she received a degree in English Language Teaching and further postgraduate degrees. Besides writing, she currently works as an interpreter and translator. If you visit her blog, you will find many images of her trips to beautiful places.

She published two e-books The Same Moon and the sequel, Trials of Life which are part of the Journey to the West trilogy. She plans to release the last book in the trilogy this year. Even though the novels are fictional, some of their content is based on different periods in her own life and demonstrate the challenges faced within the Chinese culture and how one adapts to another culture. 

Her books are strikingly poignant and multifaceted, full of history, culture, and conflicts faced by the protagonist Pearl. In the opening chapter which takes place in Sichaun in the 1980s, she has a forbidden, secret relationship with a man against her parents' strict wishes. The story gives insight into the political and societal constraints of the times.  Lying to her parents, she suffers from fear, guilt and shame. When she is found out, she is severely punished. Filled with anguish, she must break off her relationship. In chapter two, the story flashes back to her grandparents' lives in a harsh political and economical climate and their sacrifices to pay for their children's education. 

If you are interested in Chinese culture and the transition of Chinese to other parts of the world, these stories will give you insight. Viewing her writing from a contemporary western perspective, I was struck by the extreme differences of Pearl's life and my own. The hardships she endured were significant and made me realize that I should not take living in Canada for granted. Junying's personal experiences make these stories authentic and credible.

If you visit Amazon, you may preview the first chapters of each of her books.

I was grateful to be featured on her blog in an interview. Please click here to view. Thank Junying!

 


7 comments:

Junying Kirk said...

Sandra, many thanks for the spotlight :) So great to be featured on your wonderful site.

It's a true pleasure to have a chat with you on my site and learn more about your art, books and what drives you.

Sandra Yuen MacKay said...

You're welcome, Junying! I made a friend in the process.

Malika Bourne said...

It is so wonderful to see a glimpse of Junyings writing. I will be passing it on. Malika

Junying Kirk said...

The wonder of SM - a truly small world we live in :)

jennymilch said...

Those covers are absolutely gorgeous!

Junying Kirk said...

Thank you so much, Malika, for visiting Sandra's site and leaving lovely comments :)

Junying Kirk said...

Jenny, thanks. Truly glad that you like the covers :)