Unique author events coming to Next Chapter

Unique author events coming to Next Chapter

Author J.F. Lee explores a genre of Chinese fiction called Wuxia. 

Next Chapter will host two events this month, each showcasing a local author who shares a distinctive and interactive way to enjoy and learn about their books.

Kristy Van Den Broek and J.F. Lee will both appear at Next Chapter, part of the store's commitment to engage with the community through unique events and offerings.

"As a young Caymanian it makes me so proud to be a part of an organisation with these values and it is so rewarding to play even the smallest part in the development of new opportunities for locals," Books & Books Assistant Manager Sydney Solomon said. "There are so many talented, inspiring individuals here in Cayman who are carving out a new industry right before our very eyes. We at Next Chapter are honoured to be the platform that helps these creatives pave the way for this and upcoming generations."

On Sunday, 7 April, Van Den Broek will read from her book, “My Friend Called R.A.I.N.” during Next Chapter’s storytime session. Van Den Broek is a children’s yoga teacher, and her book uses these practices to help children recognise and process their emotions.
“R.A.I.N. is a mindful and nurturing approach to emotional intelligence,” she says.

This event is aimed at children from very small up to 12 years old, although the yoga techniques she will demonstrate from her book are suitable for all ages.

Woman holding children's book
Author Kristy Van Den Broek is also a children’s yoga teacher, and her book uses these practices to help children recognise and process their emotions. — Photo: Rhian Campbell 

Then on Friday, 19 April, local-based author Lee will read excerpts from the latest book of his “Tales of the Swordsman” series starting at 6:30 p.m. In this series, Lee explores “Wuxia,” a genre of Chinese fiction that features warriors of extreme – and almost supernatural – martial arts skills, set in ancient China. Wuxia (pronounced woo-shee-ah) is a major part of popular culture in Chinese-speaking communities around the world.

“Wuxia is the biggest fantasy drama you have never heard of,” Lee says. “Yet, wherever the Chinese diaspora is, Wuxia is there.”

Lee has been writing in this genre to bridge the gap between Western and Eastern cultures and appeal to young adults who – like he once did – want to hear more about the tales of Chinese culture or their own roots in an accessible way. He says that when movies such as "Demon Slayer," which was shown recently at Camana Bay Cinema, are well attended, it is an indication of the appeal these cultural themes have for young people.

Even the large volume of young-adult books and the anime merchandise available in Next Chapter signal that what was once fringe and considered “nerdy” has now moved into mainstream culture.

To Lee, this is not a bad thing. When asked to describe the essence of his series, Lee says, “A jaded swordman, a fleeing girl and a fated sword all come together in this story that blends legends of wandering heroes, humour, found family and classic martial arts action. What could go wrong?”

At his book-signing event, Lee will read excerpts from his newly released book, “Echo of the Blue Mountain.”

The first three books in the series, “Sword of Sorrow, Blade of Joy,” “Fangs of the Black Tiger” and “Fall of the King Saber” will also be available.

Although primarily focused on young adults, Lee’s books also target a more mature audience. “The coming-of-age story is for young adults, but these stories also enable older people to figure out more about who they are,” he says.

The story time session on 7 April with Van Den Broek will run from 10 - 11:30 a.m. with music and other stories to kick it off. Lee’s event begins at 6:30 p.m. on 19 April and will include a question-and-answer session with the author followed by a book signing.

This article was published in the April 2024 print edition of Caman bay Times. 

You may also like