While it's great to hear the venerable UBC Creative Writing department will be getting an infusion of major dough from Penguin Random House, commencing in 2014, the upstart SFU Writers Studio is the hotbed on the rise. Taiwanese-born Janie Chang is their latest SFU grad to make a major splash, drawing on 36 generations of her families' recorded genealogy for her debut novel Three Souls (HarperCollins $19.99). The main character is the ghost of Leiyin who was captivated by a left-wing poet as a teenager during Chinese civil strife in the 1930s. Denied entrance to the afterlife, she must reconcile her three souls: her scholarly yang soul, her romantic yin soul and her wise hun soul. 9781443423908

Her second novel, Dragon Springs Road (Harper Collins 2017), again draws on her family history for inspiration. Set in early twentieth century Shanghai where an ancient imperial dynasty collapses, a new government struggles to coalesce, and two girls - one a Eurasian orphan, the other a daughter of privilege - are bound together in a friendship that will be tested by duty, honour, and love.

Janie Chang has also lived in the Philippines, Iran, Thailand and New Zealand. She has a degree in computer science from SFU.


Three Souls (Harper Collins 2013) $29.99 978-1-44342-390-8

Dragon Springs Road (Harper Collins 2017) 978-1443439374

[BCBW 2016]