10-22-10: A 2010 Interview With Belle Yang
"In Chinese, the language itself is visual poetry."
I had Belle Yang in the studio at KUSP at 7 PM on a dark autumn evening for Talk of the Bay. We had the studio and the station to ourselves for an hour, and we needed every minute. There was a lot to talk about with regards to her graphic memoir, 'Forget Sorrow.' The book in my hands was a remarkably complex construction in terms of story and art.
Belle Yang has lived through some pretty serious history herself. From the tales of her stalker through the Tiananmen Square Massacre, her own story is the stuff of myth. So her choice to tell her father's and grandfather's story — against the backdrop of a China that no longer exists and is pretty tough to wrap your brain around here in 21st century America — is quite brave. But that's just the beginning.
Now, I've talked with a lot of writers about their process and there are as many answers to this as there are writers. And of course, I talked with Yang about writing the book. But there was so much more than just writing, and that was something I've never had the opportunity to talk about. I was really curious about how you revise a graphic novel? I could imagine how painful that could be.
Yang's artwork is currently on display at the Museum of Art and History in downtown Santa Cruz, so went there to take a look at the pieces hanging on the wall, as opposed to paging through the book. It's quite a different experience. She talked about creating the larger work in our conversation, and the differences how the differences in scale affected her vision
Causes Belle Yang Supports
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