River of Love and Other Essays
AN OKANAGAN INSTITUTE BOOK
240 pages, 5.5 x 8.5 inches, paperback
ISBN 978-0-9810271-8-0, $25
"These essays and stories are united by a passion for writing. Writing is a key part of my identity; I write because it is one of the best ways I learn."
"Stan Chung's Global Citizen pieces play smartly with the reader's expectations. His columns are genre-splicers that showcase story, dialogue, poetic imagery, confession, sensuality, regret, family, death, community, history - each piece, in fact, unfolds like a miniature novel or play. What we encounter are the sounds and visions of a restless, ever-agile creator - it's a gift to have his work collected for us in this volume." - Jake Kennedy, author of Hazard and winner of the 2010 Robert Kroetsch Award
"Stan Chung's essays speak of the details, dreams, desires, and occasional dead ends that map the larger, global experience of the Canadian Everyman/woman. The writing is superb. Chung writes from the heart, the gut, the knees, and generously contributes to the genre of creative non-fiction with a localized, vernacular flair that speaks honestly to the experience of a "global citizen" in small town Canada. In the end, Chung connects the dots between local and global experience through the story-telling itself, through the shared experience of the conflicted, flawed, love-able, and always real human condition. Good stories, good writing, and, a very good read." - Veronica Gaylie, author of The Learning Garden.
"I read every column Stan Chung writes with fascination. He has a rare capacity for exploring his own psyche in a way that connects with mine and, I suspect, with most of us. Always, I am moved - sometimes to laughter, sometimes to a wry grin of recognition, sometimes to tears." - Jim Taylor, columnist, co-founder of Wood Lake Books and author of 17 books
"Stan Chung's unforgettable stories hit on the truth in direct, and sensitive ways. They are told with a beautiful, tender simplicity, and a deep understanding of life and death. Stan Chung has given us unforgettable portraits of everyday people, that emphasize the insight and honesty of the author's own journey to self understanding." - Dorothy Tinning, artist and former Mayor of Penticton
"Stan Chung's columns are intimate conversations with his readers. The fact that he's ruminating in such a personal way on existential questions from middle age sometimes shocks, sometimes nudges readers to remember that a well-lived life begins with paying attention. His columns remind us that the personal and political are deeply intertwined, and that an intellectual life is grounded in the life of the body and spirit." - Francis Greenslade, author of By the Secret Ladder
"I admire the way Stan Chung uses his own self-questioning narrator to ground and personalize the situations, issues and observations he tackles. A refreshing, inclusive honesty surfaces in this collection of essays. When combined with the gift he has for capturing the detail and texture of the lives we all inhabit, the result is writing that matters because it
both includes and illuminates." - John Lent, author of Cantilevered Songs
"Stan Chung is the best-loved writer in the Okanagan." - Albert Baldeo
"Let everyone sweep in front of his own door, and the whole world will be clean." - Goethe
Global Citizen came to fruition as a newspaper column in October of 2006. I chose the title because global citizenship is a seductive yet contradictory term. Some prefer the concept because it recognizes the transnational character of our problems. If our problems cross national boundaries, then surely solutions require a mobilization beyond national scope.
However this transnational view of the world is problematic for the average citizen. While we know that many economic, social, and environmental issues require collaborative solutions, it remains difficult for thoughtful people to know what to do. Should we look to keep our own doorways swept clean as Goethe suggests, or go across the ocean and get busy on someone else's doorway?
To be a global citizen may sound like a good thing but how exactly does one choose to behave? How do you make a difference to people who are uneducated, malnourished, victimized by patriarchy and colonialization, made destitute by desertification, without becoming seduced by our own colonizing tendencies?
Will our actions make a difference? Or is the concept of individual action just another way in which true power and authority divert us from the truth?
Closer to home, we try to support our local farmers. If we can, we ride our bikes to work. We hurriedly buy compact fluorescent bulbs while barely realizing the extent of our actions. Our citizenship has been equated more with consumer expenditure and less with protest and critical thinking. Consumer as global citizen turns out to be not only a bit of a contradictory term, but a great deception. - From the introduction
Copyright © 2010 Stan Chung. All rights reserved.
is a writer and Dean of Arts and Science at Camosun College.
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