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Sunday, July 3, 2011

Andrew Xia Fukuda

As far as I know, there's only a handful of male Asian American writers of YA and MG. Every time someone pops up that I didn't know about previously, I get super excited because clearly we have something unique in common. So when I heard about Andrew I was doubly excited because not only does he write YA, he writes great YA as evidenced by his debut book being an ALA Booklist Editor's Choice among other awesome reviews.

His award winning novel, Crossing, is about a Chinese teen who moves to America and grows up in an all white town. It's a mystery suspense which is quite different than most immigrant stories and I'm halfway through and loving it. The cover is also gorgeous isn't it? Here's the synopsis:
"A loner in his all-white high school, Chinese-born Xing (pronounced “Shing”) is a wallflower longing for acceptance. His isolation is intensified by his increasingly awkward and undeniable crush on his only friend, the beautiful and brilliant Naomi Lee. Xing’s quiet adolescent existence is rattled when a series of disappearances rock his high school and fear ripples through the blue collar community in which he lives.

Amidst the chaos surrounding him, only Xing, alone on the sidelines of life, takes notice of some peculiar sightings around town. He begins to investigate with the hope that if he can help put an end to the disappearances, he will finally win the acceptance for which he has longed. However, as Xing draws closer to unveiling the identity of the abductor, he senses a noose of suspicion tightening around his own neck. While Xing races to solve the mystery and clear his name, Crossing hurtles readers towards a chilling climax."
Andrew recently announced a new trilogy called The Hunt, which you can read all about here. The first book comes out Spring 2012 so you'll have plenty of time to read Crossing over and over by then.
Interview from Amazon page
Question: In what way is Crossing different from the typical immigrant novel?

Andrew: I wanted to depart from what we usually see in immigrant novels: instead of cloying and clich├ęd scenes of family meals, flowery mother-daughter relationships, and cathartic returns to the motherland, I wanted to layer questions of identity and ethnicity over a thriller plotline. In Crossing, this immigrant theme is propelled forward by the suspense generated in the ever-deepening mystery of the disappearances. This fusion of themes was a blend of my background: as an Asian American I was able to add depth to the ethnic theme; as a criminal prosecutor, I was able to develop nuances in the mystery aspect of the novel.
-Amazon page for Crossing-
 
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