When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I experienced such violent happiness. So much so that I worried that something might go wrong with my baby: it might have one leg or six fingers or such.
Now I am again experiencing such happiness, mixed with similar anxiety. It also has something to do with birth – the birth of a book, my first novel Lotus, about prostitution in contemporary China.
The pregnancy has been a very long one: I worked on it, on and off, for 10 years. Coming from a journalistic background, I found fiction a different ball game, with a host of different challenges from non-fiction books. I wrote, re-wrote, tried and tried. Now the effort is finally paid off.
See below the official announcement.
Author of the memoir Socialism is Great!, Lijia Zhang’s LOTUS, set in Shenzhen, China, “city of sins,” the story of a young sex worker and a photojournalist torn, like the city itself, between past traditions and modern desires, to Emi Ikkanda at Henry Holt, in an exclusive submission, by Becky Sweren at Kuhn Projects (NA).
Henry Holt and Company is a top publisher in US, an imprint of Macmillan. It will come out around Feb. 2017: yes, publishing is a slow business.
With the success of my memoir Socialism is Great!, I always had the confidence that I would find a home for Lotus but I didn’t expect such a decent home and such a decent advance. I simply can’t believe my luck!
I wouldn’t have got where I am now without the help from so many friends. How lucky I am!
My daughters, now 18 and 16, have turned out beautifully. Hope Lotus will, too.