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Andrew Fukuda: I worked for a few years with immigrant teens in Manhattan's Chinatown. What really struck me was how acutely they felt isolated from society at large. Shoved out of the way, really. And they shared a real disenchantment with America. One Sunday, a group of us--we were traveling in upstate New York--decided to attend church. It turned out to be an all-white church and I still remember the cold looks of suspicion and icy stares cast our way throughout the service. Just because we were Chinese, just because we looked different. Those cold stares haunted me for a long time afterward. It got me thinking: what if an immigrant teen had to grow up all alone in this kind of community? And what if something terribly, mysteriously awful started to happen in that community?
The 2007 Virginia Tech massacre at the hands of Seung-Hui Cho added urgency to my writing. I feel that Asian American males have often been dealt an unfair hand by the media, and I was afraid of a backlash, afraid that we might get typecast as raging, hate-filled, gun-toting campus killers. For weeks after, I attacked the manuscript with renewed fervor and purpose, determined to add more dimensionality to Xing's character. Realistic complexity and nuance in characters, after all, kill stereotypes.
Question: In what way is Crossing different from the typical immigrant novel?
Andrew Fukuda: I wanted to depart from what we usually see in immigrant novels: instead of cloying and clichéd 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.
Question: Did you read much while growing up? Which writers capture your attention and imagination?
Andrew Fukuda: My parents--both university professors--encouraged me and my two brothers to read early on. Books lay everywhere at home. I suppose it was only a matter of time before I became a voracious reader. I was especially drawn to stories dealing with displacement, where characters suddenly find themselves in an alien environment with all previous reference points and cultural markers gone. Early on, that meant reading a lot of Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, and Isaac Asimov. Now it means more Kazuo Ishiguro, Paul Yoon, and, of course, Jhumpa Lahiri. Reading (and rereading) her works is like a religious experience for me.
I had read Andrew's popular vampire series and loved loved loved them so was reminiscing and checked to see if he had written other books. Read morePublished 29 days ago by Cathryn
I can't put the book down. Very good reading made you wonder what was going to happen in the endPublished 2 months ago by ptldprts
Loved this book. Andrew Fukuda has a crisp interesting writing style. Wished it was longer and had developed some of the peripheral characters a bit more (that's why 4 stars), but... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed ths book. I think Andrew Fukuda is a fabulous author. I am looking forward to reading more books. Read morePublished 2 months ago by diza
Although the author has a gift for description and a real talent for characterization, I was disappointed with the plot and resolution.Published 2 months ago by E. J. Ford
If I could give it 3 1/2 stars I would. Xing is a lonely boy, the outsider who doesn't try hard to fit in. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amy M House
Riveting could not put it down!! It makes you think about how things are not what they seem..Jesus Christ is the Way, Truth and the Life...Published 2 months ago by Juli Mann
This book takes you in and keeps you enthralled. You get caught up in the characters and their circumstances. Still thinking about this book days after finishing it!Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I enjoyed the read..
I did not like the ending.
I would recommend to most relaxed readers.
It was not like anything I have read before.