Throughout the 10 stories in Land of Big Numbers, Te-Ping Chen — a founding member of NüVoices — sketches the interior lives of her protagonists, who live in (or are connected to) China: a man determined to strike it rich in the stock market, a migrant worker employed at a flower shop who is infatuated with a customer, and a government employee being stalked by her ex-boyfriend.
Inspired by her years living in Beijing and Hong Kong as a foreign correspondent for the Wall Street Journal, Chen drew upon her travels and the remarkable lives of people she met to construct a world that didn’t fit neatly into news reports.
The debut author speaks with NüVoices chair Joanna Chiu and New York chapter member Megan Cattel on her observations of modern China, the transferable skills of journalism to fiction, and advice on navigating the publishing industry.
Te-Ping: Do Not Say We Have Nothing, by Madeleine Thien, and Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It, by Maile Meloy.
Joanna: Piranesi, by Susanna Clarke, Invisible, by Paul Auster, and The Woo-Woo, by Lindsay Wong.
Megan: Notes of a Crocodile, by Qiu Miaojin (English translation by Bonnie Huie), I Was Their American Dream, by Malaka Gharib, and The Wedding Banquet, directed by Ang Lee.