Language Power with Norman Yeung

Season 1 | Episode 6
53m | Dec 21, 2021

In this episode, I talk to Norman Yeung - a Chinese Canadian writer for whom the use of language takes on a whole new meaning. As we discuss Norman's body of work in this episode, he explains how he uses 'magical realism in his work to encourage empathy through dialogue, blurring of the lines between fantasy and reality in order to break down language barriers. And of course, we talk all things Theory, following the publication of his multi-award-winning play earlier this year.

Words of Wisdom

Norman Yeung on drafting by hand... "I like to have a physical, tactile approach, or connection to the words. There’s something about the physical effort of writing with [a] pen that I think naturally makes the brain maybe want to think more succinctly... the delete button of keyboards if not my best friend for the first draft or two... because I’m getting all my ideas out there and there will be more drafts to delete then."

Conversation Highlights & Links

  • [03:30] A nocturnal writing schedule
  • [09:30] Writing with pen and ink: a physical approach
  • [15:40] Skipping a draft in the transcription process
  • [18:15] Norman’s ’shower solutions’
  • [21:10] Play discussion: Theory
  • [27:30] Working with a diversity editor
  • [32:32] Giving Theory a thriller genre packaging
  • [34:00] The ten-year development journey of Theory
  • [35:35 Language: magical realism
  • [40:10] Language: the power to alienate, unite and divide
  • [43:20] Language: a body of work
  • [45:00] The hip-hop heartbeat of East Vancouver
  • [47:55] Final scene 

Connect with Norman

Connect with Paul

Next time...

I talk to New Zealand screenwriter, playwright, and writing coach, Kathryn Burnett, ahead of the world premiere of her play, The Campervan. Be sure to follow or subscribe and we'll let you know when the next episode is published.

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