Luck, love, life: Beloved author Wayson Choy had always lived to perfect his stories, again and again

ANTANAS SILEIKA, THE GLOBE AND MAIL, APRIL 30, 2019

Wayson Choy and I were both English teachers at Humber College in Toronto when he published his first book, The Jade Peony, in 1995. He was 56 at the time, a late-breaking author. I had published my own first book the year before and I said to him over lunch in the staff dining room, “Enjoy the attention, Wayson. It doesn’t last.”

The book, about a gay boy growing up in Vancouver’s Chinatown of the thirties and forties, went on to be a bestseller for 26 weeks and shared a Trillium Award with Margaret Atwood. If Chinatown was practically invisible in the Canadian consciousness at the time, a gay boy in such a setting was a revelation of a reality too long ignored. He later received many more honours, including a Giller nomination and the Order of Canada. Read more…

Author Wayson Choy in the Random House Publishing office on April 1, 2009. JENNIFER ROBERTS/THE GLOBE AND MAIL