FECUND Gimme butterfly kisses! Picnic on literature

Smita Singh: “A page turner. A must read for all.” Read Smita’s full book review

Butterfly by Julie O’Yang, a book review by Smita Singh

{Smita Singh is the Chairperson and Treasurer of Vaani. She initiated the movement called Vaani, a platform for Asian women writers to meet, to exchange, to share ideas. She writes short stories, novels and blogs like mad! At the moment she teaches post graduate class in one of the colleges in London.}

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I met Julie O’Yang, author of  Butterfly in Oct 2011. She had flown in from Netherlands to take part in the South Asian literature festival in London. I was pleasantly surprised by her unassuming and modest yet very confident attitude.

 Julie has published fiction and articles in various publications worldwide. Apart from being an author Julie is also a visual artist and Butterfly has some of her own illustrations in it.
The book cover shows a vague woman’s face underwater, a very artistic choice in keeping with the story.
Butterfly is a love story that spans life and death, magic and reality and parallel reality.
The author has woven mythology and history skilfully together to create a mysterious atmosphere in the story that keeps readers hooked till the end.
The butterfly motto has been used repeatedly to create and reinforce the idea that like a butterfly changes its form and gets reborn time and again, so does love in-spite of all the odds against it be it war, Nanking Massacre, or the darkest secret.
“They say butterfly fish was made by Bodhisattva Guan Yin after she had a strange dream. Guan Yin looked at the star-studded body hauling a fantail so black like ink spilled in water. At that moment a butterfly floated past her. One thing other fish don’t do, though. A real butterfly fish can change into a beautiful woman at night.”
The love scenes are infused with Chinese myths and strong imagery that gives it a mystical tinge.
“I decided to love him. I decided I would accept him for everything he was. I learned to forgive and how to forgive. The world happens, we can choose how much it happens. At the end of the day no-one loses or wins. There is no future living in the past. For all I know, we could start finding peace and happiness between two human beings. To love, to be loved is the true gift of our heart. Love is not mediocre. Love is our freedom.”
“You were pregnant by a man-killer, didn’t that bother you?”
The book is littered with metaphors and beautiful imagery that spell binds its readers and gives them wings to take them along on an unpredictable, conflicting journey of a butterfly.
I found it hard to put it down until the very end although the end itself is a bit lacking in clarity may be done so  intentionally by the author to maintain the aura of mystery.
The book Butterfly all in all reads like a Bestseller and the readers will find it a page turner. A must read for all.
Here is the original link of the review on Vaani London: http://www.vaani.org/2013/04/butterfly-by-julie-oyang-book-review.html
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Order your print copy in Amazon or Barnes&Noble online store. Also available in all eBook formats, including iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo & all major ebook distributors across the world.
I  hope everyone that is reading me is having a really good day.

julie 超辣

Determined dreamer. Published author in English, Dutch, and Chinese. Former People’s Liberation Army (PLA) captain turned artist entrepreneur and screenwriter. She survived the Cultural Revolution as a baby. In the 1990’s she left for London and has lived and worked in free exile ever since. Her work covers a wide spectrum. As journalist, she creates content covering a range of topics on contemporary China from an insider perspective. In 2008, during the Beijing Olympics, she hosted a 5-episode talk show TV China for Netherlands’ national broadcaster and discussed China’s media landscape with media stars and experts from both China and the Netherlands. From 2013-2016 she was the Editor-in-Chief of the English/Chinese bilingual magazine XiN 新, focusing on today’s China shaped by consumerism. O’yang contributes a weekly column to Hoje Macau on contemporary Chinese art and culture. Her English language book titles include: Butterfly, a historical crime love story set in the Second World War. Since May 2016 O'yang has been collaborating with Flemish photographer Filip Naudts on an art project, which has resulted in the photo novel The Picture of Dorya Glenn. Julie works from the Netherlands and Denmark.

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