Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Risher examines Chinese culture, adoption in new ebook


“Life has a way of playing jokes on you, doesn’t it?” wrote Jan Risher, popular columnist at The Daily Advertiser in Lafayette. She was emailing me to announce her ebook titled “Long Story Short: Year of the Water Goat, An American Mother Returns to China.”
“Finally, after a long time in the process, I’ve published a book!” she wrote. “The funny thing is, the book doesn’t look the way I always expected a book to look.”
And such is the world of publishing these days. On one hand, there’s no book to hold in your hands. On the other, it’s a great new way for writers to get their work out there. In Jan’s case, it’s available for Kindles through Amazon, or for those who don’t have a Kindle, through smashwords.com and for the Nook at Barnes & Noble. Jan has spent a week in Amazon.com's Top 20 reads in the adoption category and Top 10 in Kindle's.
Jan adopted her daughter Piper from China and the book takes place in the year after the adoption when Jan was struggling “to figure out all that stuff between my culture and the culture of my new daughter,” she wrote me by email. “Though the insights I gained only scratch the surface of China’s ancient heritage, they made me a different mother, wife and person.”
            As for the title, 2003 was the year of the water goat and the year Jan received her baby girl from China. Jan visited China to assist in starting an English program for the young adults too old to be adopted in the orphanage where her daughter lived as an infant. Just outside the orphanage, Risher witnessed a young woman run over by a truck and the shocking aftermath of the accident. She spent the next two weeks in the Chinese state-run Social Welfare Institute growing to love and understand more of her daughter’s heritage. The insights she gained helped shape her life as a wife, mother, friend and writer.
The book retails for $4.99.