Earlier this year, I reviewed Karen Ma’s novel, Excess Baggage (China Books, 2013), an eye-opening story about Chinese immigrants in Japan in the early 1990s. Her book really hit home for me because I knew a Chinese professor who went to Japan around the same time and really struggled to earn money in low-level jobs to support his wife and son back in China.
Karen herself has a fascinating background. Born in China, raised in Hong Kong and Japan, she has studied in the US, lived in India, and is now based in Beijing. She is also the author of Modern Madam Butterfly: Fantasy and Reality of Japanese Cross-cultural Relationships (Charles E. Tuttle, 1996). You can read more about her background and her writing at her new website, www.karenmaauthor.com.