Thursday, January 16, 2014

Kim Fu's "For Today I Am a Boy"

Kim Fu is the author of the novel For Today I Am a Boy (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014), a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection. She has written for NPR, Maisonneuve, The Rumpus, Ms., The Tyee, The Stranger, Prairie Fire, Grain, Room, and Best Canadian Essays, among others. She is the news columns editor for This, a magazine of progressive politics now in its 47th year, and writes the advice column ASK FU! for the blog. Fu lives in Seattle with her husband and their many computers.

Here Fu dreamcasts an adaptation of For Today I Am a Boy:
If I’m dreaming big, Wong Kar-wai would direct the movie version of my book. Several of his films have a similar relationship to time as For Today I Am a Boy: episodic, lots of small scenes and details that add up to a life. An avalanching effect.

While I was writing, I actually pictured a young Maggie Cheung for the eldest sister, Adele. She has the wounded elegance, the breezy big-sister authority, and the crushing, heart-stopping beauty.

The rest of the characters are harder for me to imagine. The scarcity of Asian actors in Hollywood is a limiting factor. Maybe Tony Leung Chui-Wai for the father—he’s great with characters who express big sentiments with small, brutal gestures. Brenda Song would make an interesting Bonnie, the youngest sister. She has the right kind of energy, sassy and fun and a little bit dangerous. I can see Emily Kuroda as the mother. Kuroda could play both phases of her life—the intense, silent force in the background and then the strong, loud-mouthed woman who comes into her own. Linda Park would suit Helen, the shrewd, smart, wary middle sister.

As for Peter, I would want someone fresh, someone new to the screen. Young and vulnerable and daring. And after their debut, everyone says, “Wow. Who was that?”
Visit Kim Fu's website.

--Marshal Zeringue