Han Ong – playwright and novelists – Brief Article
Applies his acid playwright’s wit to his lauded first novel
One thing puzzles Han Ong about the glowing reception of his debut novel, fixer Chao: Reviewers persist in labeling it a satire. “For me,” he says, “[the book shows] just the way people behave.”
Indeed, In fixer Chao the 33-year-old Ong, one of the youngest-ever recipients of the MacArthur Fellowship, retains all the merciless wit of his celebrated plays. Telling of two hustlers who set themselves up as feng shui masters, he targets trend-following socialites, tourist-coddling Broadway directors, and fashion-addicted gays.
“It reveals how hollow most lives are,” he says. “People don’t want to be told [these things]. But I think using the word `satire’ is a way for them to acknowledge the merits of the book without allowing the poison-tipped blade to sink in as deeply as it could have.”
COPYRIGHT 2001 Liberation Publications, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Gale Group