Erick Setiawan was born in 1975 in Jakarta, Indonesia, to Chinese parents. A quiet, shy child, he was thankfully raised in a family of gifted storytellers, who taught him that while life might have an endless supply of conflict, not all of it translates into a good story. Due to the anti-Chinese sentiment prevalent in Indonesia, his childhood was often fraught with tension, which prompted him to take comfort in books and in the world of his imagination. To traumatize him further, his parents sent him to Catholic schools, where he learned from an early age to feel guilty about everything and that a grown man in a sash and a swishing robe with a ruler in his hand was in no way maternal.
At age sixteen, he left his family and moved to the United States. He knew three people and barely spoke English, yet was somehow convinced that he could compete with the top students to get into the best colleges. His resolution/delusion pushed him to work hard. The following year, his first choice, Harvard, rejected him, but fortunately Stanford had a lower standard. To this day, he believes that they admitted him by mistake.
In college, he wanted to study English, but his shyness and insecurity about his adopted language prevented him from enrolling in classes that required him to speak. Instead, he chose to major in Psychology and Computer Science, going as far as getting a Master's in the latter. Bafflingly enough, studying about mental disorders and complex algorithms only increased his hunger for literature. Once too often, he shuffled aside his term papers and problem sets to lose himself in a novel.
After graduation, he began his tenure as a software engineer in San Francisco. By the end of the first year, he knew that his heart was not in it. Confronted with the risk of being a corporate burnout at twenty-six, he turned to writing in his spare time. To the exasperation of his bosses, he began coming to work late and taking longer and longer lunch breaks in order to write. Several years, two failed novels, and countless short stories later, he decided to quit his job to finish writing Of Bees and Mist. At the time, he had no book deal and knew no one in publishing, but he pursued his passion with the same stubborn resolution/delusion that had motivated him earlier. He sold Of Bees and Mist four years after he started it.
For more information, please go to www.ofbeesandmist.com.
Of Bees and Mist
- A Novel
- By: Erick Setiawan
- Narrated by: Marguerite Gavin
- Length: 13 hrs and 20 mins
Of Bees and Mist centers on Meridia, who, at age 16, tries to escape her alienating childhood and her mysterious parents by running away to marry a tenderhearted young man....
Bizarre But Good
- By Christine on 10-09-09
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Regular price: $23.07