Archive for the ‘LOVE IMAGINED’ Category

  • LOVE IMAGINED audience and message

    Date: 2014.11.10 | Category: LOVE IMAGINED, Reviews of my Books | Response: 0

    I was recently asked the following questions by a reviewer:

    1. What is the primary/most important message in Love Imagined and how do you think readers will relate to it?

    The message I was trying to express is how history/historical events play into one’s identity. I always wanted to write a book that paralleled historical events across color lines in the USA. However, it was too overwhelming for me to find the emotional energy to do so, but I was able to, at least, tell my own story: the journey of a Chinese Black woman who grew up in South Minneapolis passing for white. My publisher went out of his way to help me get permission to include quotes that were historically relevant.

    2. Also, is it for a certain, limited audience that the book will have good/meaningful appeal?

    Actually, no. Scandinavian friends from high school have found connections to the story beyond location. One friend actually said, knowing the main message was one of a mixed race identity, there was much she could relate to. Also, at a recent reading, a younger, mixed woman said my story was her story. I was concerned that my age, 66 years old, would have younger people poopooing it; but, I’m discovering they can relate. At the same reading a married couple, two young men, explained that one of them was searching to know more about his mixed identity. I am also hoping my story will have an impact in women’s studies and ethnic studies classrooms.

  • READING SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 at Birchbark Books

    Date: 2014.09.08 | Category: Assignments, LOVE IMAGINED | Response: 0

    The Birchbark Books Reading Series continues its 6th season of readings on Wednesday, September 24 at 7:00 p.m. Reading will be Satish P. Jayaraj, Sherrie Fernandez-Williams, Sherry Quan Lee, and Eric Hove.

    Curated by Michael Kiesow Moore and Ardie Medina, the Birchbark Books Reading Series features new, emerging, and established writers quarterly September through May.

    Artist bios:

    A perpetual immigrant, Indian writer Satish P. Jayaraj now calls Minnesota home. Though not used to the inhumane winters, the love by and of the writing community of the Twin Cities quickly won him over. Satish enjoys writing in multiple creative genres. He is working on his second fantasy novel, a follow up to the e-published Secret Of the Naga Dragons. For this evening he will proudly present some of his poetry.

    Sherrie Fernandez-Williams holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Hamline University and is a recipient of an Artist Initiative Award through the Minnesota State Arts Board, a SASE/Jerome Award through Intermedia Arts, and the Jones’ Commission Award through the Playwrights’ Center. She was a selected participant in the Loft Mentor Series for Creative Nonfiction, and the Givens Black Writers Collaborative. Her work has been published in various literary magazines and anthologies. Sherrie’s debut memoir, Soft was published by North Star Press (2014). Fernandez-Williams discovered her need for words in Brooklyn, NY where she was born and raised, but “grew up” as a writer in the Twin Cities.

    Sherry Quan Lee
    (MFA in Creative Writing, University of Minnesota) is a Community Instructor at Metropolitan State University, and has taught classes and mentored writers at Intermedia Arts and the Loft Literary Center; co-taught A Gathering of Storytellers for the University of Minnesota Women of Color Organization (UWOC), Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), a partnership between the University of Minnesota and North Minneapolis, and for other community organizations state wide. She is the author of Chinese Blackbird, a memoir in verse, How to Write a Suicide Note: serial essays that saved a woman’s life, and hot off the press, Love Imagined: a mixed race memoir (all published by Modern History Press, Ann Arbor, Michigan).

    Eric Hove holds a Master Fine Arts from Hamline University and serves as a poetry editor for Red Bird Chapbooks. His poetry has been published in Versus Literary Journal, Sleet Magazine, and rock, paper, scissors. He is working on his first book,Closing Time in the Museum of Certainty. Eric also volunteers with the Minnesota Prison Writing Workshop.

  • REVIEWERS WELCOME! LOVE IMAGINED a mixed race memoir

    Date: 2014.08.19 | Category: Book Reviews, LOVE IMAGINED, Reviews of my Books | Response: 0

    Please contact Modern History Press,, if you have a serious interest in reviewing LOVE IMAGINED. Reviews in  multicultural journals, mixed race journals, feminist journals/Amazon, Goodreads, etc. are more than welcome.

    Love Imagined: A Mixed Race Memoir
    Imprint: Modern History Press
    Author: Sherry Quan Lee
    Foreword: Lola Osunkoya

    ISBN-13: PB 978-1-61599 $ 29.95 / eBook $ 5.95
    Trim: 6.69 x 9.61 (158 pp)
    Audience: General Adult
    Pub Date: 08/01/2014
    Synopsis: Love Imagined is an American woman’s unique struggle for identity.

    “Joining the long history of women of color fighting to claim literary space to tell our stories,
    Sherry Quan Lee shares her truth with fierce courage and strength in Love Imagined. … Quan
    Lee crafts a riveting tale of Minnesota life set within the backdrop of racial segregation, the
    Cold War, the sexual revolution while navigating it all through the lens of her multi-layered
    identities. A true demonstration of the power of an intersectional perspective.”

    –Kandace Creel Falcón, Ph.D., Director of Women’s and Gender Studies, Minnesota State University, Moorhead

    “Love Imagined: this fascinating, delightful, important book. This imagining love, this longing for love. This poverty of No Love, this persistent racism, sexism, classism, ageism. The pain these evils cause the soul…This is an important document of a mixed-race contemporary woman, a memoir about her family lineages back to slavery, back to China, back to early Minneapolis, and about the struggle of finding herself in all of these.”
    –Sharon Doubiago, author of My Father’s Love
    “When I read Sherry’s story [Love Imagined], I recognized feelings and meanings that mirrored mine. I felt a sense of release, an exhale, and I knew I could be understood by her in a way that some of my family and friends are unable to grasp, through no fault of their own. It’s the Mixed experience. Sherry Lee’s voice, her story, will no doubt touch and heal many who read it.”
    –Lola Osunkoya, MA Founder of Neither/Both LLC, Mixed-Race Community Building and Counseling
    Learn more at

    From Modern History Press
    Loving Healing Press
    5145 Pontiac Trail
    Ann Arbor, MI 48105-9627
    Please contact
    Tollfree USA/Canada: (888)761-6268
    Elsewhere: (734)417-4266
    Fax: +1 734 663 6861
    Bookstores please order from Ingram


    Date: 2013.09.23 | Category: LOVE IMAGINED, The Art of Writing | Response: 0

    Truly, I have been working on my book, and if I could just keep editing instead of stopping and starting overwhelmed by my own darn self at times, then maybe LOVE IMAGINED would be off to the publisher.  Actually, I can do this, it’s almost finished (I keep telling myself).  The problem now is the ending, currently I have three endings!  And formatting, I’m not sure where to add the historical facts, but I’m workin’ on it.

    It’s been so long since I’ve posted a blog entry, I didn’t recognize my own Web site.  I think a little gremlin has been lookin’ after it, re-organizing it, or else I’m just having too many senior moments, another reason to get this book done, who thought I would be old enough to be so forgetful, and memoir is about remembering and I don’t want to forget the stories of who I am because it’s been 65 years trying to make sense of myself!

    Here’s Chapter Two of LOVE IMAGINED.


    Recently a friend challenged me about my use of the term South Scandinavian Minneapolis, where I grew up.  As a writer, I know it’s important to be specific.  Specifically, I grew up in a house on a hill on 26th Avenue and 39th Street, two blocks from Roosevelt High School.  My friend, Carolyn was right.  Carolyn lived in South Minneapolis too.  She went to Central High School.  My cousin went to Central High School. Carolyn had a crush on my cousin.  They lived in Minneapolis, but they lived with black folk, unlike me who lived East of whatever line divided us.  My aunt, my cousin’s mom, lived near 38th and Portland, this sometime after she and her family lived in the row houses in North Minneapolis, the ones just off of Olsen Highway, or was it Plymouth.  Another Aunt lived near 4th Avenue and Lake Street in South Minneapolis.  I didn’t know much about geography when I was little, but I did know my mother’s family could only visit at night, when it was dark, and our neighbors couldn’t see them.

    Aunt Grace lived in North Minneapolis.  She moved from a Duplex on Emerson Avenue North, though I don’t know how I know this, and maybe I’m wrong, but I remember going there once as a very small child. This is where Grandma also lived.  It must have been sometime after Grandma died of rat poisoning or Draino when the cancer was more painful than she could bear.  Aunt Grace and her family moved further west, trespassing into the Jewish neighborhood, 16th and Vincent. Avenue North.  Streets and Avenues don’t change, but people coming and going do.  I remember we visited Aunt Grace, my mom, my sisters and I, taking a bus down Broadway, stopping to shop at the junk stores, then walking to the most beautiful home I had ever seen.  At least I remember doing this once.  But when I turned eighteen, I let the secret out of the closet, though I don’t know how I knew my mother was passing for white and we, the children were supposed to be white or at least be Chinese like my father, but he disappeared when I was five.  I did my best and continue to integrate myself into a family I had been segregated from for way too many years.

    My Aunt Grace, my Aunt Marion, and my mother have now passed away.  I love them all dearly, they are angels on my shoulder.  Wherever I live, and I’ve lived in more than 50 different homes, and five different states, but they are always with me.  Recently I bought a home in Oakdale, Minnesota.  The 2000 census said Oakdale is mostly white, but it’s not anymore.  My women friends have visited me, Asian, Mexican, Black, straight, gay.  My cousin has visited, in fact I have a cousin that lives just next door in Woodbury, as well as my sister.  No one has to visit at night.  I welcome the next census when I can add one more person of color to a neighborhood that was once mostly white.  My friend Lori laughs because she remembers being the only black student, well she and her siblings, at Tartan High School, just down the street from where I now live.   She says where I live used to be farmland.

    NOTE:  By 1880, there were 362 Blacks in Minneapolis, and by 1930 the Black population numbered 4,176. The Black community tended to concentrate in two areas–on the near north side of the city and on the south side near Fourth Avenue South and 38th Street.

    … By one estimate, there were as many as 10 active Ku Klux Klan chapters in Minneapolis in 1923. Their attacks were broadly focused on nonwhites, socialists, Jews, Catholics, and the new Communist threat.

    …Minneapolis later elected a Jewish mayor, Arthur Naftalin, in 1961.



Artist Statement

Sherry Quan Lee approaches writing as a community resource and as culturally based art of an ordinary everyday practical aesthetic. Lee is a Community Instructor at Metropolitan State University (Intro to Creative Writing, Advanced Creative Writing), and has taught at Intermedia Arts, and the Loft Literary Center. She is the author of A Little Mixed Up, Guild Press, 1982 (second printing), Chinese Blackbird, a memoir in verse, published 2002 by the Asian American Renaissance, republished 2008 by Loving Healing Press, and How to Write a Suicide Note: serial essays that saved a woman’s life, Loving Healing Press, 2008.








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