Chinese Expat Pens a Personal Story
Auckland, New Zealand – August, 2012 – a Chinese expat, Dave Yan, who possesses a personal story of dedication, perseverance and ingenuity, released a biographical fiction novel, Over A Year, to celebrate being granted his New Zealand residency.
Set in Auckland, the story surrounds the life of an international student, Dave, for the time period of over a year. He comes to New Zealand, pursuing his dreams, but he struggles more and more to achieve his value in this foreign country.
Meanwhile, the story also explores the realities of his sexuality and gay life during the period he has stayed in Auckland – a gay friendly city. He has gradually sensed he is gay and starts a relationship with a Kiwi and cavorts with others. Like almost any gay man, he consoles himself with the thought that he will outstrip his homosexuality. By chance, he gets to know a girl from a wealthy family, whose mother is eager to get her married due to the fact of her getting older. Tempted by money, power and prestige from her family, he struggles to persuade himself to date with the girl for several times and cultivates a relationship thereafter, if for no other reason than because being in love with her is proving to have financial benefits, in the assumption that he might be a heterosexual.
In the end, from his inner soul, he finally accepts that he has no interest in women and tells her in a subtle way that he wouldn’t lead a traditional life and prefers to be single. He is going forward with his dream providing the best solution to his dilemma.
“I did hold some fear of using his name as a protagonist for his novel,” Dave comments. “I’d like to define this book as a work of fiction, while as in most fiction, there really is no such thing as pure fiction, the literary perceptions and insights are possibly based on something that had happened in a real life to flesh out characters and events. I have to admit that, all names, characters, locations and incidents in this book are neither the product of my pure imagination nor used in a fictitious way. Any resemblance to actual events, places, or persons, if it does occur, is highly not coincidental but not intended to offend anyone.”
He wasn’t sure if it was a mistake to write a story so vivid that the story and his real world have been utterly blurred. “The setting is also important in that it helps to evoke atmosphere and believability and pieces all together to create the overall effect,” he says. “Auckland city is a place where, gay people can often see each other, unavoidably as well as unexpectedly, but they still try to pretend to be strangers, even though the fact is they once had sex a year before, months ago or maybe within a few days. They just couldn’t be bothered reacquainting each other.”
Life experience is such a key ingredient to inspiring a writer. “For although my own life experience is the material from which I form this novel, this material has been altered, recombined, shaped to create a coherent and meaningful fictional artefact – a crucial transformation of a period of my life.”
“Despite being based on true events, I’d rather not say anything further at all than being dishonest,” he concludes.
Dave was born in 1985 and brought up in Northern China. He is a 2011 graduate of Auckland University, New Zealand with a Master degree in Language Teaching, which was a “mistake” in his words. He currently teaches English as a second language in New Zealand.
In January 2011, he had got a chance to play a small role in an Adam Luxton and Jeremy Dumble’s film called We Feel Fine. Although his scene was cut out before the film was released, he’s got the inspiration to write from his acting experience as well as his interest in reading novels. He has ever since been writing almost continuously. When he could not find a literary agent or major publisher, Dave took his destiny into his own hands, employing his education and hard work to promote his novel. He has submitted his book for both 2013 Sydney Writers’ Festival and Auckland Writers’ Festival.
Over A Year is his first book published by Amazon earlier this year. He wrote it during those depressing days he had to face in Auckland, which is the setting of the story. He currently resides in Auckland, with his Kiwi partner, in a renting house that he lovingly refers to as his harbour. He wishes that the story would not only attract gay audiences, but anyone who has once had a dream.