My novella Shanghai Wedding was a winner in the 2018 The Novella Project VI from Griffith Review and has been published in Griffith Review 62: All Being Equal.
Shanghai Wedding is the story of Billy, a Brisbane-born twenty-something who falls for Qiang, an international student who eventually returns to Shanghai to marry a woman. The idea started with a short story I wrote for hello mr. magazine, ‘Purple Galaxy‘, which focused on a scene of domestic violence in a gay relationship and its aftermath. Not longer after this, I read the ’China’ chapter of Benjamin Law’s book Gaysia, and the characters of Billy and Qiang soon emerged. Shanghai Wedding is a story spanning two very different river cities—Brisbane and Shanghai—and the complications that can arise in cross-cultural relationships. The story opens with Billy arriving in Shanghai, but shifts back to tell their back story before finally ending, of course, in Shanghai.
This piece is from Chapter Ten of my novel (novella?) manuscript, but I adapted in a way that I hope works well on its own. It seemed like a good fit for Peril Magazine’s “We’re Queer Here” series and thankfully they agreed!
Head over to Peril Magazine to check it out and browse the rest of the series while you’re there.
He had given his readers many stones; so many, in fact, that he had only one left—the stone that had formed in his gut.
Suddenly tired, he sat down on a bench. If he could only throw the stone. He searched the sky for a target. But the gray sky looked as if it had been rubbed with a soiled eraser. It held no angels, flaming crosses, olive-bearing doves, wheels within wheels. Only a newspaper struggled in the air like a kite with a broken spine. He got up and started again for the speakeasy.
Nathanael West on the contrasting natural beauty and fakery of LA:
“The edges of the trees burned with a pale violet light and their centers gradually turned from deep purple to black. The same violet piping, like a Neon tube, outlined the tops of the ugly, hump-backed hills and they were almost beautiful.
But not even the soft wash of dusk could help the houses. Only dynamite would be of any use against the Mexican ranch houses, Samoan huts, Mediterranean villas, Egyptian and Japanese temples, Swiss chalets, Tudor cottages, and every possible combination of these styles that lined the steep slopes of the canyon.”