Centuries-old ghost stories guide Lydia Kwa through new novel Oracle Bone

The latest addition to Lydia Kwa’s story cycle reflects her interest in Asian mythology and martial-arts movies. More than a decade ago, before the release of her 2005 novel, The Walking Boy , Lydia Kwa was asked to consider a trilogy. Her then publisher hinted publicly at a series extending that story, which featured a monk’s disciple in eighth-century China who aimed to reunite his master with a lost love, and response from readers was encouraging. Kwa, a Vancouver novelist, poet, and practising psychologist, was ambivalent. This, however, did not stunt her productivity: Pulse , a novel, and sinuous, a book of poetry, came out in 2010 and 2013, respectively. Deciding afterward that the time was right, she began working on Oracle Bone , her new novel, a prequel to The Walking Boy that reflects her interest in Asian mythology and martial-arts movies. “Chronologically, it really is the first book,” Kwa says to the Straight , over tea at an East Van café. “Walking Boy occurs much later, 30-some years later, and I’m planning and hoping to write a third book that follows these two.” (A revised edition of The Walking Boy hits shelves in 2018.) Designing the cycle […]

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