My ties with my native Chinese culture remain as strong as ever. I visit my relatives in Taiwan regularly almost every summer and have traveled throughout China. And to everyone’s continuing surprise, I have yet to forget how to speak Mandarin. Nevertheless, twelve years in America has made its impressions upon me as well. I am as “American” as anyone my age. The songs I listen to, the sports I play, and the way I speak are all a reflection of that. In short, I am a combination of both East and West.
But the short story can be a route to recognition in Britain. Take Carys Bray. In 2012 she won Salt Publishing’s Scott Prize. A Song for Issy Bradley (Hutchinson), her novel, looks set to be one of this summer’s biggest debuts. The woman behind the prize that discovered her, Jen Hamilton-Emery, has published short stories since 2006: “Interest has been gathering momentum. When we published our first collection there was little interest. Since then, a host of short-story competitions, festivals, events, courses, readings, magazines and websites have sprung up, and more bookshops have dedicated sections. Almost unheard of 10 years ago.”