My first novel about who I am

THE SILENT GIRL will go on sale July 5, and those who’ve read the flap copy will see that it’s about a murder that takes place in Boston’s Chinatown. But that’s just a superficial glimpse of the plot; what you won’t know until you read the book is how deeply this book is about me, about my childhood, and my experience growing up as an Asian American. Yes, it is a Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles story, but it’s also a story where I introduce a new detective named Johnny Tam, a Chinese American man who’s struggling with the same issues I’ve struggled with all my life. Namely, what does it mean to be a non-white American? Can we ever be accepted as real Americans? How do we deal with the fact that people judge us just by our faces? Can we ever break out of the stereotypes that plague us all our lives?

The Chinese American experience isn’t one that’s explored much in genre fiction. For years I avoided tackling the issue, because I didn’t think readers cared what Asian Americans thought or felt. I was told that those books simply didn’t sell. Now I’m about to find out if that’s true.

12 replies
  1. susancolebank
    susancolebank says:

    Well, if it’s a Maura and Jane book, I’m totally there. And as long as the experience of being Chinese American is woven into the story and not a lecture, I’m totally there for that, too. And knowing you, it’ll definitely be woven in (and beautifully). :o)

  2. techiebabe
    techiebabe says:

    Wow, I can’t wait to read that, especially now you’ve explained it has something of yourself about it. Sounds great!

    I checked with to find out the UK release date and it looks complicated: a version by “Tess Gerritsen and Cassandra Campbell” is out on 5 July but that’s just an Audio CD, a hardcover book seems to be out on 21 July, but then a paperback claims to be preorderable for 23 June, which I don’t believe. Can you sort this muddle out and let me know the UK release date? When can I go into a shop in London and grab a copy? Thanks!

  3. Tess
    Tess says:

    Techiebabe, the hardcover of Silent Girl comes out in the UK July 21. The only paperback that will be available then will be an export edition that can be bought in airport bookshops and abroad, but not in High Street bookshops. HOpe that answers your question!

    btw, I’m coming to the UK for some book promotions!

  4. DebPiccurelli
    DebPiccurelli says:

    I’m waiting with bated breath for this book! I know I’ll find Johnny Tam very interesting. Nationalities don’t bother me at all in any book, and I’m sure this one will be a bestseller.

  5. Abe
    Abe says:

    When are people going to get it? It DOES NOT matter what color a person’s skin is, or where they come from. Non-White American…so what? We are all brothers and sisters under the skin. Asian American…African American…Native American…can those biased and bigoted a-holes see a pattern here? An American is an American no matter where he or she comes from.
    This has bothered me for along time ever since I learned about the freedom marches of the 1960’s. Wake up racists…
    On a more calmer note, I so look forward to your next book, Tess. But, unfortunately, your tour does not stop in NY. Oh, well. Maybe some other time. Good luck with the book and the tour. I am so happy for you and proud to call you my friend.

    Oh, and BTW…The title of your book, “The Silent Girl” is a contradiction of terms. I didn’t know one of those existed….LOL

  6. joe bernstein
    joe bernstein says:

    Sounds very interesting-I’m not gonna miss it.
    The perspective of growing up in the US of Chinese background hasn’t really been explored much in literature.
    God knows some other ethnicities have done it ad nauseum.

  7. TyHutchinson
    TyHutchinson says:

    I’d be very interested in how this book does. I’m Chinese, well I’m more of a mutt. Let’s just say I have Chinese and a whole bunch of other stuff inside of me as well. I just released my thriller, Chop Suey. It takes place in San Francisco’s Chinatown and Hong Kong. The main character isn’t Chinese but a lot of the supporting ones are. My detective is Kyle Kang. I’m a newbie/nobody author, the opposite of Tess. No comparison there. I never thought whether or not writing about Chinese people would be a plus or minus. I just did it. This blog entry gave me pause for a about ten seconds. My opinion is I don’t think it’ll matter. I think it’ll come across as refreshing. Then again, I grew up in Hawaii. Asian is the main ethnicity. Plus, Chinese food rocks. Who doesn’t like it?

  8. dr.maurarizzoli
    dr.maurarizzoli says:

    Noooo! Now I want to read this one out of order! I’m only on “The Apprentice”! Why do you do this to me?

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