For Asian Americans, the release of BETTER LUCK TOMORROW marked a milestone. Actor Parry Shen wrote a widely distributed email plea that roused Asian Americans to support Asian American film by going out to see the groundbreaking movie. I’m feeling Shen’s urgency now as I move forward with my just completed manuscript, Facebuddha: Transcendence in the Age of Social Networks.
The book is narrative non-fiction, about the psychology of social networks and relationships – but being written by me, a lot of it is also devoted to the Asian American experience, the immigrant experience, racism and love – all powerful components of relatedness and the real social network – Society. Facebuddha: Transcendence in the Age of Social Networks starts with deep soulful conversation on a Hanoi rooftop, and ventures through the relationship wilds of Facebook and the online experience via Linsanity and the blogosphere, and plunges deep into relationships in India before taking on the question of who we are when we are online – what happens to our mind, emotions, heart and attention – what happens to our sense of self and boundaries, and how our choices can affect our world. I think it is humorous, thoughtful, thought-provoking, and perhaps even transformative to the reader. I’ve certainly been transformed as I’ve written this 80,000 word book and grappled with the multitude of issues raised by my investigation – inwards and outwards. You might also tell by the title that I come at this from a Buddhist perspective, as exploration of the mind/heart. I’m mindful that in America, most of the respected authors in this genre are not Asian American.
Some comments so far (by very well-read and amazing individuals) are “Pitch perfect! Quite impressive and scholarly!” and “I did like the read! Thank you for your openness. I am touched by your candor. I hear a call to unite and feel moved to respond. I find your book thought-provoking.”
I’m in the process of looking for an agent now. (If any of you know an agent who would be interested in this genre, please let me know.) But part of me questions how this will be received by audiences. Will they “get” me? I am very confident about my writing, but these latter questions can only be resolved if I can prove I’ve got an enthusiastic potential readership.
So I’m asking for your help. Can you please:
1. Forward this email and get your friends to sign up on my email list at www.RaviChandraMD.com
2. Follow me on Twitter at @going2peace
3. Please tweet “Looking fwd to #Facebuddha : Transcendence in the Age of Social Networks by Ravi Chandra! Sign up at www.RaviChandraMD.com@going2peace”
4. Please share this as a status on Facebook widely.
I’m not setting up yet another page which I will beg you to like – I’m not going to spam you – I’m don’t anticipate flooding my Facebook wall with posts about this book. But it would be very helpful to show an agent that there is an audience for an Asian American man writing about relatedness, psychology, and love with humor and insight.
Thank you for your continued support.
Ravi Chandra, M.D.