Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Books: The Secret Diary of Edward Ng

After years of dazzling audiences and garnering critical praise for his work as a director and producer,
Quentin Lee has momentarily switched gears to present his debut novel, “The Secret Diary of Edward Ng” (available on Cyber Monday 11/29/21). This boundary-breaking story is a moving journey of self-discovery that explores ideas about the LGBTQIA+ Asian-American experience. 

While a graduate student at Yale in 1993, Quentin Lee was pursuing his M.A. in English when he began work on writing what would become “The Secret Diary of Edward Ng”. The fiery, raw and sensual story is a journey into the life and times of a young 21-year-old Edward Ng as he discovers his place in the world while a deadly incurable disease ravages through his community. 

The Secret Diary of Edward Ng” is an electrifying sexual and intellectual coming of age story that follows Edward at his last year at Berkeley, with Edward reckoning his feelings for both his non-monogamous relationship with a bisexual boy named David, and his unconsummated torrid affair with his younger closeted cousin Victor. 

With strong family themes present throughout the novel, we are transported between memories of the past while contrasted between the events of the ‘present’ day in the 90s. Moments like the emotional rollercoaster of Edward’s life as a boy in Hong Kong with his neglectful social butterfly of a mother, to his journeying to San Francisco as an adolescent to live with his emotionally abusive uncle. 

The story of “Edward” is essentially a love letter to Quentin’s former self where he himself attended Berkeley, which helped him process his complicated relationship with his first boyfriend, as well as his feeling of loneliness during his time as a graduate student. Subsequently, Lee would go on to explore many of these formative experiences with more depth, clarity and levity through his works in film and television.

The novel will be published and released by independent publishing company Troublemaker Press, formed by Simon Tam, founder of the legendary Asian-American rock band The Slants, winners of a landmark victory at the Supreme Court of the United States