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Coquitlam author imagines immigrant horror stories in new novel

Posted on: March 14, 2023

Lindsay Wong, a Pinetree Secondary graduate who grew up in Coquitlam and now calls Burnaby home, teaches creative writing at the University of Winnipeg.

A former hockey player with the Tri-Cities Predators, Wong debuted The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids and Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family, a memoir that made the finals for Canada Reads in 2019.

That year, she also came out with a young adult novel called My Summer of Love and Misfortune.

And last month, the UBC and Columbia University graduate released a fictional work titled Tell Me Pleasant Things about Immortality — a collection of 13 short stories that delve into the family secrets and inherited traumas of immigrants.

Like Woo-Woo, the book is receiving critical acclaim.

The Tri-City News spoke with Wong; here’s an edited transcript of the interview:


  • How often do you return to Coquitlam?

“I was there for Christmas and I’ll be back in April for some events. My parents live in Coquitlam.”

  • How did growing up in Coquitlam influence your writing?

“I had a very structured childhood. There were always a lot of activities: hockey, school, piano lessons. I didn’t start writing until UBC. At Pinetree, Ms. McNeill taught creative writing. I loved her class.”

  • Why do you write?

“I think it’s really to make sense of whatever I’m feeling or thinking at that moment. For a writer, there’s a lot going on in your brain, so it’s a good way to explore themes. For this latest collection of immigrant horror stories, I really wanted to write about diaspora and Chinese immigrants.”

  • How do you write?

“I can write anywhere. I find chunks of time whenever I have a break. I wish I was a full-time writer; I’m not. I teach, I go to faculty meetings so whenever there’s time, I sit down and craft something. There’s a lot of revision, a lot of things get thrown out, but hopefully there’s a story in there.”

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