">Henry Lien

Henry Lien, Author


SPRING, SUMMER, ASTEROID, BIRD: The Art of Eastern Storytelling

Published by W.W. Norton (pub. date Feb 4, 2025).
Official description:

An introduction to Eastern storytelling that opens readers’ minds to radically different ways of telling a satisfying story.

Discussions in the West around diversity in the arts often focus on the identities of characters and creators. Writing instructor and speculative fiction author Henry Lien makes the pathbreaking argument that diversity is about more than just plopping different faces into stories that are 100 percent Western in spirit; it can―and should―encompass diverse structures, themes, and values.

Using examples ranging from Parasite to The 1,001 Nights to the Mario video game franchise, Lien shows how storytelling staples in the West, such as the three-act structure and themes of empowerment and change, are far from universal. He introduces the East Asian four-act structure (kishotenketsu), as well as circular and nested structures, and explains how Eastern value systems such as collectivism can dictate form. Spring, Summer, Asteroid, Bird is essential reading for any writer or reader who wants to broaden their understanding of how to tell a satisfying story.”
Barnes and Noble