PROFile: Bestselling author arrives at U of W

Lindsay Wong, assistant professor, creative writing

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Critically acclaimed novelist Lindsay Wong is a new faculty member at the University of Winnipeg (U of W) after holding a writer-in residence position at the University of Manitoba.

Wong attended the University of British Columbia and continued her studies in the United States.

“I studied creative writing at UBC when I was (an) undergrad, then I went on to do my MFA in literary non-fiction at Columbia in New York,” Wong says.

Her first venture into authorship is a memoir entitled The Woo-Woo, which was named a 2019 Canada Reads finalist.

“The book is about a dysfunctional Chinese family that doesn’t believe in mental illness. They blame their aberrant behaviour or bad luck on Chinese ghosts. I think in Chinese culture, there’s a lot of superstition, lots of belief in the supernatural,” Wong says.

She explains the difference between a memoir and an autobiography.

“A lot of people assume a memoir is your whole life, but that’s usually a biography that covers from birth to death. A memoir is a slice of life. Anyone could write a memoir. I think that’s why it’s popular as a genre,” Wong says.

Her book My Summer of Love and Misfortune came out in 2019. A third book called Tell Me Pleasant Things about Immortality is expected to be published in 2023.

“It’s a collection of immigrant ghost stories. So you have nine-tailed foxes who disguise themselves as sorority sisters and undergraduate students. You have family members who come back from the dead, and they haunt the living. It’s also darkly comedic,” Wong says.

What do you do in your spare time?

“What spare time? I write. I read. I’m just starting to get to know Winnipeg a little bit.”

What do you like the most about Winnipeg so far?

“I don’t know yet. I’ve heard that the community here is all about the literary community. My colleagues are really lovely at the U of W. So far, I feel very welcomed here.”

Where do you see yourself in five years?

“Hopefully working here.”

Published in Volume 77, Number 06 of The Uniter (October 20, 2022)

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