Tag Archives: Catherine Chung

Kartika Review Spring 2012 issue!

I love the cover of our Spring 2012 issue!

Kartika Review, the literary magazine at which I was once Fiction Editor and am currently Editor-at-Large, has a newly redesigned website and a brand new Spring 2012 issue. I’m so proud of this beautiful issue, which features amazing writers, and beautiful cover art by Ako Castuera.

It’s been an interesting transition for me from Fiction Editor to Editor-at-Large over at Kartika; what exactly would I aim to do as Editor-at-Large? After spending a bit of time feeling the edges of my new role, and brainstorming special projects–I decided to plunge into what I enjoy best at Kartika; soliciting and interviewing emerging and established Asian American writers.

To that end, I’m proud to share with you interviews (page 72 and 78, respectively) with both Catherine Chung, author of an amazing (the glowing reviews are still rolling in) debut novel called Forgotten Country and Krys Lee, who debuted an equally acclaimed story collection, Drifting House.

Both Forgotten Country and Drifting House were highlighted giveaways on my blog, and they are books I recommend you buy and read. And I hope you enjoy Kartika Review‘s Spring issue!

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Filed under literary magazines

Forgotten Country Book Giveaway

Scarlet, reading Forgotten Country by Catherine Chung

The month of book giveaways continues here at 80,000 Words…! I’m giving away a signed hardcover copy of my friend Catherine Chung’s amazing novel Forgotten Country.

Forgotten Country is out in stores now, buoyed by oodles of deserved praise from Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, O Magazine, and some of my favorite writers like Chang-rae Lee, Justin Torres, Cheryl Strayed, and Alexander Chee. Cathy’s debut novel went on sale just a few days ago, and more rave reviews are imminent. (And I’ve also interviewed Catherine Chung for Kartika Review, which will have its Spring 2012 issue out in a couple of weeks).

This is the book that I’ve heard called “my favorite novel of 2012” so many times–and even several times during the course of one conversation at AWP in Chicago last week. To which I contributed, “Yes, me too! I loved it that much!” And yes, I am twisted, because I am loving a novel that made me bawl my eyes out at two o’clock in the morning; but why else do we read but to achieve some deep connection with story? This is an author who got it right–Forgotten Country is a novel that gets the technical bits right and yet does not forget heart.


The copy I’m giving away is a brand new hardcover signed by Catherine Chung. Dudes, this cover: I love it. Also, it fits right into my rainbow spectrum bookshelf. Yes, I’m one of those assholes who arrange their books by color. (But that’s only because I’ve only got a few books in NYC–my Berkeley bookshelf is a mad chaos of color kowtowing to alphabetical ordered books).

Berkeley bookshelves…


And the rainbow NYC bookshelf…

I totally organized my NYC bookshelf according to color.

So like, if you need pink/light blue on your bookshelf, this will serve an additional purpose.

As always, I will sweeten your intrigue with the opening lines of the giveaway book, because for me one of the biggest deciding factors in choosing to read a book are the opening lines. In the end, no one can tell you which book to like–that’s between you and the book.

Opening lines of the novel:

“The year that Hannah disappeared, the first frost came early, killing everything in the garden. It took the cantaloupe and the tomatoes; the leaves of lettuce turned brittle and snapped. Even the kale withered and died. In front, the wine-colored roses froze, powdered gray with the cold, like silk flowers in an attic covered with dust. My father and I had planted the garden over several weekends, and tended it carefully. Then it had overgrown itself, the tomatoes winding themselves up the wall of our house and stretching out to span the distance to the fence. After the frost we’d left it all winter without trimming anything back. Now we stood on the lawn, surveying the ruin, tracking damp patches of ground wherever we stepped.”


Here’s how to enter:
1) Leave a comment below. You can say anything you want–e.g., you can choose to tell me why you want a copy of the book, or tell me something wonderful about a sibling, or a trip to the place of your origin. 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)!
2) 1 entry per person. If you tweet about this giveaway (please tag @czilka in your tweet so that I can track it), you get an extra entry.
3) The giveaway is open worldwide.
4) If you win the contest, I will email you for your mailing address.
5) Winners will be chosen by a random number generator.
6) 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, so as to avoid confusion.
7) If you are below the age of 13, please ask your parents to fill out the comment field with their information.

The deadline to enter a comment/tweet is Wednesday March 14, 2012 12:00pm EST. The winner (picked at random) will be announced Wednesday March 14, 2012 by 9:00pm EST.

GOOD LUCK! And I hope you all find your way to a copy of Forgotten Country soon!

UPDATE: Time to announce the winner!

As always, I assigned each of you a number in the order you commented. If you RT’d my tweet, or tweeted about the giveaway on twitter, I gave you an additional entry, and I assigned additional numbers in the order you tweeted.


There were a total of 18 entries…and I used random.org to generate the winning entry number. I totally didn’t feel like going on camera today, so there is no live drawing, but this is kind of how it went…

  • Type in each of the entries.
  • Pull up random.org
  • Tell random.org to pick a number from 1 to 18.
  • Savor the moment. Ahhh. THE MOMENT.
  • Still savoring. Who will the winner of Forgotten Country be?!
  • Click the “generate” button.
  • Wahoo! There’s a winner!


The winnner is commenter #3, aka Naomi J. Williams! Her comment was:

I’d love to read this book. But I’m also curious about why you have *two* copies of IQ84, especially as I know you also have an electronic copy of it…? It’s worth a read & all, but takes up an inordinate amount of shelf space! Anyway, enjoyed this post & the opportunity for a free book & your willingness to share photos of your bookshelves!

I totes have two copies of 1Q84, because my husband dragged home an extra copy. Long story. I know. And I have it on my e-reader. The extra copy is going to a good friend of mine, soon.

Congratulations! And I hope you all find your way to a copy of Forgotten Country soon.

One more Update: Cathy gifted me an extra signed copy of her Forgotten Country! So I did another random.org drawing and the winner was #4…which is rachel!


Filed under Giveaway, Reading