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May-lee Chai in conversation with Dr. Tonya M. Foster

September 1 @ 6:00 pm

May-lee Chai in conversation with Dr. Tonya M. Foster

celebrating the launch of

Tomorrow in Shanghai And Other Stories

Published by Blair Books

A short story collection exploring cultural complexities in China, the Chinese diaspora in America, and the world at large.

In a vibrant and illuminating follow-up to her award-winning story collection, Useful Phrases for Immigrants, May-lee Chai’s latest collection Tomorrow in Shanghai explores multicultural complexities through lenses of class, wealth, age, gender, and sexuality—always tracking the nuanced, knotty, and intricate exchanges of interpersonal and institutional power.

These stories transport the reader, variously: to rural China, where a city doctor harvests organs to fund a wedding and a future for his family; on a vacation to France, where a white mother and her biracial daughter cannot escape their fraught relationship; inside the unexpected romance of two Chinese-American women living abroad in China; and finally, to a future Chinese colony on Mars, where an aging working-class woman lands a job as a nanny. Chai’s stories are essential reading for an increasingly globalized world.

May-lee Chai is the author of the American Book Award–winning story collection Useful Phrases for Immigrants and ten other books. Her prize-winning short prose has been published widely, including in the New England Review, Missouri Review, Seventeen, The Rumpus, ZYZZYVA, the Los Angeles Times, Dallas Morning News, and the San Francisco Chronicle. The recipient of an NEA fellowship in prose, Ms. Chai is an associate professor in the Creative Writing Department at San Francisco State University.

Tonya M. Foster, (PhD; MFA), is a poet, essayist and Black feminist scholar. She is the author of A Swarm of Bees in High Court, the bilingual chapbook La Grammaire des Os; and coeditor of Third Mind: Teaching Creative Writing through Visual Art. Dr. Foster’s poetry and prose have appeared or are forthcoming in the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day online journal, Entropy Magazine, the A-Line Journal, Callaloo, boundary2, TripWire, Poetry Project Newsletter, amongst other outlets. Her writing and research focus on poetry, poetics, ideas of place and emplacement, and on intersections between the visual and the written. She is a poetry editor at Fence Magazine and a member of the San Francisco Writers Grotto. Forthcoming publications include poetry collections—Thingifications (Ugly Duckling Presse); a chapbook—AHotB  Sputnik and Fizzle); a 2-volume compendium on the Umbra Writers Workshop; and an anthology of experimental creative drafts. A recipient of awards from Macdowell, Headlands Center for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, the San Francisco Museum of the African Diaspora, and the Ford and Mellon Foundations, among others, Dr. Foster serves as the George and Judy Marcus Endowed Chair in Poetry at San Francisco State University.

This event is made possible by support from the City Lights Foundation.