Along with the book, I’ll be giving away various accoutrements, all provided by the generous Justin Chin: postcards of his previously published books (Harmless Medicine and Attack of the Man-Eating Lotus Blossoms), and two signed pieces (“Fragments” and “Home”). The items are pictured below:
“A gay, punk-rock Chinese American in the age of AIDS,” the San Francisco Chronicle describes Chin, “[he] confronts all manner of hypocrisy.”
Justin Chin is the reason I slap myself when I veer away from the truth in my writing and dabble endlessly in vague, chickenshit language avoiding the heart of my story (i.e., the aforementioned “hypocrisy”). He’s also the reason I pick myself back up, as he has sent me several well-timed notes of encouragement over the years. All of which I have kept, and still read, from time to time.
Chin writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction–and I’ve taught more than a few of his essays out of Burden of Ashes, which my students enjoyed as much as I do. Telling the truth has a way of garnering attention and admiration.
Opening lines of “Burn,” one of the stories in the book:
“He has fallen asleep, passed out, is snoring like the last hog on earth, sweating like a lost marathon runner. His white t-shirt is drenched, the sheets and the pillows are drenched with his sweat. I want to sleep but cannot. I paw him, run my hands over his wet body but he cannot wake as I cannot sleep. I wipe his sweat off on m chest, I pull his shirt up and rub my face into his sweaty belly. I adore everything that comes out of his pores, his bitter toxic sweat, his stinky overheated body.
Our love is bound by chemicals. How I hold my arm out to him and let him run the vein into my vein. How beautiful my blood looks as it surges into the syringe, like a rare flower blossoming, and how beautiful it feels as he pumps it, chemical rich, back into me….”
And opening lines of “Sugar”:
“The diarrhea had gotten so bad that fucking his ass was like poking at an overfilled water-balloon with the jagged-edged finger of a chronic nail-biter. He knew this would happen, it always does. He needed help and he needed help fast. No bulking agents for this boy. He wanted something bad, something that would score his ass. He ended up at his dealer’s. At any point of your life, you might have to have sex with your dealer, so it helps to have a dealer you wouldn’t mind having sex with.”
Now on to the heart of the matter: the giveaway!
Here’s how to enter/how I will pick the winner…
- Leave a comment below. You can say anything you want–e.g., you can describe a “wound” in your life, or you can tell me why you want a copy of the book.
- Do fill out your email address when you fill out the fields in the comment box (it won’t be published to the world, but I will need it in order to contact you in case you win)!
- 1 entry per person
- The giveaway is open worldwide.
- If you win the contest, I will email you for your mailing address.
- Winners will be chosen by a random number generator.
- I will be announcing the contest winner on the blog. None of your personal information will be posted, aside from your first name and last initial (or the nickname you choose to list in your comment). If you see that someone else has entered the same name as you, please try to pick a different nickname to call yourself, just for clarity.
- If you are below the age of 18, please ask your parents to fill out the comment field with their information.
The deadline to enter a comment is Monday November 14, 2011 12noon EDT. The winner (picked at random) will be announced November 14, 2011 by 9:00pm EDT.
Monday, 11/14/2011: A winner is announced!