Here is an open thread to discuss your feelings and thoughts of Chapter One of Jade City. What struck you about the writing? Any questions about what is happening (this is a no reader-shaming zone)?
Or: I noticed that several people have commented, in a happy and positive way, that this isn't the kind of book they would normally read. Can I ask -- just curious -- why do you think that is?
Alternatively, you can also tell us about a fun thing to see or visit in your part of the world.
Three important guidelines -- please read BEFORE you post:
1. No spoilers or revealing of future events in the novel, please, even mild ones. Talking about chapter two is okay -- but not beyond that.
2. Let's avoid negative comments about the book for now. I'm not saying that this novel-reading club will all be about praise and unicorns going forwards. Nor do I think this novel is some kind of flawless miracle that is above critique. But right now, while we are still getting established and in progress, I don't think complaints about the novel set the right tone. The goal is to learn new skills from these novels, so let's proceed, for now, as if this is a novel worth studying (because it definitely is).
3. It’s great to talk about the specifics of this fictional world. However, I propose that we mostly go easy on / hold off on, for now, analysing the "Asian-ness" of the novel. I know that's a silly idea on some level. Clearly this is a book set in a society where the main characters eat with chopsticks and do not have European-esque names. I personally find that aspect of the story fascinating and I find myself reflecting on the history of occupation, oppression, and colonisation that I heard about Taiwan when I lived there. However, there are 280 people in this group at time of writing, and while I know you are cool, I feel like in a group this size we can rapidly get into uncomfortable waters if we start to draw confident connections between the world of the story and our own world, or suggest that "x thing in the story is supposed to be bad because everyone in Asian cultures also thinks it's bad." After all, we've only read a few chapters so far and this group is just getting started. Questions, of course, should be fine. Maybe you are curious about something: ask away! And, if you are Taiwanese, Asian-Canadian etc, and you want to share a personal story or reflection, maybe this guidance doesn’t apply to you.
The point is: I think that following a rule like this, for the majority of our observations for this week's open thread, will make for a happier starting point.
Does these guidelines make sense?