Blog Archives

Septuagenarian by Sherry Quan Lee (May-July 2021)

Join us for our Spring/Summer 2021 blog tour for Septuagenarian by Sherry Quan Lee, published by Modern History Press in March 2021.

Septuagenarian: love is what happens when I die is a memoir in poetic form. It is the author’s journey from being a mixed-race girl who passed for white to being a woman in her seventies who understands and accepts her complex intersectional identity; and no longer has to imagine love. It is a follow-up to the author’s previous memoir (prose), Love Imagined: a mixed-race memoir, A Minnesota Book Award finalist.

Advance Praise:

In Septuagenarian, Sherry Quan Lee accepts her own invitation to look at life in retrospect, but with a new lens. Pulling from and expanding upon her previous body of work, she examines the version of herself that was writing at that time. The dignity and fire of her seventy-three-year-old gaze taking in snapshots of those selves…straightens my spine and gives me a vision for myself traveling today into my future septuagenarian. –Lola Osunkoya, MA, LPCC

Sherry Quan Lee writes courageously to understand herself and the world. She uses rich language and her skills as a storyteller to focus her sharp lens on what it means to have a complex, sometimes complicated identity: becoming invisible as she ages, a history of passing unseen, love and sex, grieving and celebration. She ruminates on history, which repeats itself in the current moment and widens her lens to look at the bigger, global picture to tell truths in poems that tenderly hold memory, time, rituals, trauma, mothering, fear of death and love in many forms. Her poems offer deeply personal, intimate and perceptive insights and opportunities to reflect on what it means to truly live. It feels like I’ve taken the journey with her, and I’m wiser for it. –Shay Youngblood, author of Soul Kiss and Black Girl in Paris

I’ve been reading Sherry Quan Lee’s work for almost thirty years and her voice keeps getting stronger, more urgent, deeper. In Septuagenarian, she continues to write out of her past, “the Black/Chinese/girl passing for white,” but the range of her voice is wider now, both inward and outward and it’s anchored by a wisdom that can only be achieved through struggle and time. This is a significant, heartfelt work, one that will help readers to understand not only the author and her life, but also America itself–what we have been, what we are and, hopefully, what we might become. -David Mura, author of A Stranger’s Journey: Race, Identity & Narrative Craft in Writing

Sherry Quan Lee writes with a purity of intention. She has no interest in certain kinds of poetics that conceal, or only honor, adornment. She has her gaze on the long sweep of her personal history. She reflects on old wounds, key mistakes and certain joys. She pushes against clichéd thinking or feeling. She is hard on herself, in these poems, in ways few poets are. She honors the complicated narratives of race, of being female, of living a long life and works to discern the point of it all. I’ve read and taught Sherry Quan Lee’s work for a very long time now and am grateful for this new collection. -Deborah Keenan, author of ten collections of poetry and a book of writing ideas, from tiger to prayer

About the Author:

Sherry Quan Lee, MFA, University of Minnesota; and Distinguished Alumna, North Hennepin Community College, is the editor of How Dare We! Write: a multicultural creative writing discourse. Her most recent book, Love Imagined: a mixed race memoir, was a 2015 Minnesota Book Award Finalist. Previous books include: Chinese Blackbird, a memoir in verse; How to Write a Suicide Note: serial essays that saved a woman’s life; and a chapbook, A Little Mixed Up.

Quan Lee was a selected participant for the Loft Literary Center Asian Inroads Program, and later was the Loft mentor for the same program. Previously, she was the Writer-to-Writer mentor for SASE: The Write Place, at Intermedia Arts. Also, she was the 2015-2016 Loft Literary Center’s Mentor Series poetry mentor. Visit her blog.

Add to GoodReads:

Septuagenarian

Available on Modern History Press, Amazon, Bookshop.

Blog Tour Schedule:

May 12: The Book Lover’s Boudoir (Review)

May 18: Review Tales by Jeyran Main (Interview)

May 26: CelticLady’s Reviews (Spotlight)

June 2: Diary of an Eccentric (Guest Post)

June 8: The Book Connection (Review)

June 16: Book Dilettante (Guest Post)

June 21: Luanne Castle’s Writer’s Site (Review)

July 5: True Book Addict (Review)

July 7: Pages.for.Sanity (Review on Instagram)

July 8: Impressions in Ink (Review)

Follow the blog tour with the hashtag #Septuagenarian #SherryQuanLee @mhistorypress