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  1. #1
    Xiao-Cong Hu

    Review for Yuan's Place

    I got a review for Yuan's Place by Sha Yan from BookReview.com, here it is,

    Everyone knows that Canada is very different from China, but that doesn't mean the average North American can imagine how Montreal would be perceived by a Chinese immigrant. Yuan's Place offers a glimpse of Canada through an newcomer's eyes, written by a man left the Far East in his late teens. In addition to reflections on adjusting to life in a foreign land, this 103-page collection of essays, short stories and poems also contains musings on Christian spirituality.
    Sha Yan's comparisons of North American culture to his native China are thought-provoking-- the narrator's reactions to cultural differences aren't always what you'd expect. However, Sha Yan sometimes has difficulty expressing himself in English, and his essays tend to read as if they started life as school writing assignments. His strong suit is his poetry, which was originally composed in Chinese-- "Tree House" has a particularly pleasing sound.

    This book may not appeal to a broad audience, but it could be of interest to readers who work with immigrant populations or who wish to learn more about the immigrant experience.

    Review from BookReview.com

    I have objections to make for this review. I am posting it here for some bright eyes to see, yes, what is the review's intend? I did intend the book to be read by the broad audiences, not only Canadians, not only people working in the immigration field. The reviewer is jeapardizing my book sellings, the review is kind of harmful, as a Canadian author, I am bound to object these kinds of reviews. That is why I have a different review posted in amazon.ca which I wrote myself. But the harm is done, bookreview.com has posted the review in the US amazon site that I may want them to revise. Yes, the review is partly true but I still need to reject it. Do I need a lawyer?

  2. #2
    Xiao-Cong Hu

    Re: Review for Yuan's Place

    Yet another review, for Yuan's Place, my title by Sha Yan, here it is, Iwrote it myself.

    Yuan's Place is a collection of prose, fiction and poetry of writer Sha Yan's recent work. It tells about life, beauty, spirit and love. In this little book, writer tries to tell stories with aspects of life and expectation, as well as love. The book contains eighteen pieces of writings including some beautiful poetry reflecting life, some short and medium fictions about life, love and career and some interesting prose praising the life. It shows the writer's interesting touch of English, his sense of beauty and his intelligence.

    In Sha Yan's prose "Suburban", he describes the living in the suburban area and praise such living with his beautiful touch of English. In his mini story "It snowed the night after dawn", he narrates a well educated careerless restaurant delivery person and tells his thoughs about his current life in a beautiful snow day. In the short story " Bird that flies", he narrates an engineer who was just hired by a high tech. start up company and tells how his life is like in a realism fashion. The main theme of the collection "Yuan's Place" is a story about love and life, writer narrates the story with his special touch in English about a young professional's life and his love relationship with his wife, Yuan. When Yuan went away to America to find her dream, he missed her, but finally he engaged in a new love relationship with a girl who loves him, Winnie. It features the Yuan (Buddhism belief) thinking and tells the conflict in nowaday Chinese marriage.

    Sha Yan is romantic, which shows in this work, "Yuan's Place". In this work, he shows his tacit felling about beauty and nature, not only simplely writings about love and life. The book is spiritual and it has contents of Buddhism, Chritiananity and the love and nature of Taoism. It is the contents themself are interesting. Without being very descriptive, Sha Yan has a clean and beautiful touch of English language. It would be pleasant reading experience reading “Yuan’’s Place”.

  3. #3
    Gary Kessler

    Re: Review for Yuan's Place

    Sorry, but it's not legitimate to review your own work for posting (and calling your own prose "beautiful" will turn off far more readers than it will win any over), and a reviewer doesn't really have any obligation to write a fully favorable review. They are assessing the work not selling it, and their "client" is the reader, not the author.

  4. #4
    Frank Baron

    Re: Review for Yuan's Place

    During the course of a writer's life, s/he will make mistakes. One of the biggest is to complain about a review. It makes the writer appear petty, childish and petulant - not qualities readers want to associate with an author.

    Writing your own review is bad form as well. You should apologize to the reviewer for complaining and thank him/her for their time.

    Learn from this, then forget about it and move on. Congratulations on finishing a book.

  5. #5
    Cathy C

    Re: Review for Yuan's Place

    Hu, I have to admit that I wonder why you have concerns about this review. It's actually quite good. It describes the book contents and gives a number of cover "blurbs" that could easily be used on promotional literature. Remember that not every reader will read the entire review. Every author I know "cherry-picks" the best bits of a review. For example in this one:

    "Thought-provoking . . . [not] always what you'd expect. Of interest to readers who wish to learn more about the immigrant experience." -- BookReview.com


    "Yuan's Place offers a glimpse of Canada through an newcomer's eyes. The author's strong suit is his poetry, which was originally composed in Chinese-- "Tree House" has a particularly pleasing sound." -- BookReview.com

    or you can pare it down even further, to:

    "Thought-provoking . . . particularly pleasing." -- BookReview.com

    As you can see, ALL of these are true. They're also enough to grab a reader to pick up the book from the shelf.

    Every author dreads reviews, and every author makes the best of them. You have some good, strong compliments in this review. Revel in those and let the rest roll off, like water from a duck's back.

  6. #6
    Xiao-Cong Hu

    Re: Review for Yuan's Place

    Yes, immigrant writer, Immigrant writer is a grace, not a pity. Such a pityful comment on the subjsct. I think reviewer bear it in her mind, now it is kind of hard for me to sell the books.

  7. #7
    Sam English

    Re: Review for Yuan's Place

    Read what Cathy C said above -- the review is not bad at all. You have done more damage to your own credibility by posting here and reviewing your own book. Remove your own review as soon as possible to minimize the damage.

  8. #8
    l m

    Re: Review for Yuan's Place

    Xiao-Cong Hu, when you publish your writing, or print and peddle it yourself, people can say anything they want about it.

    This is still the case in English-speaking civilization, although it might be different up there in the land of happy-face fascism (Canada).

    In the West, we have a great tradition of scathing, gloves-off criticism. All writers know this.

    So when a self-published book receives a good review, as did yours, the author should be happy. It's that simple.

    Maybe you don't quite know how this works. Might you sit down with a knowledgable friend or colleague and ask them to explain?

    As Sam English suggests, for your own sake, you should remove that glowing review you wrote yourself.

  9. #9

    Re: Review for Yuan's Place

    "when you publish your writing, or print and peddle it yourself, people can say anything they want about it."

    Actually, in the west, people can, and will, say anything they want about your work no matter how it is published or how successful it is. But it certainly doesn't help your reputation to write your own reviews.

  10. #10
    Xiao-Cong Hu

    Re: Review for Yuan's Place

    The review I got from this woman sounds like pushing Canadians as well as people in immigrantion communities in Canada or US or everywhere in the world to buy my book, as I know minorities and Canadians would not like anything pushing them to buy, especially a book. If I don't have my own review for it, maybe I will permanently loose the book for this woman's review comments, I mean financially. Maybe a better thing to do is to get another second eye to view my book, by getting a different review, maybe it will do some corrective measures. I am sure a good reviewer will not say immigration things like she did in this review.

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