Sunday, September 12, 2021

Q&A with Li-En Chong




Li-En Chong is the author of the new novel Behind the Bid, which takes place in the world of high-end auctions. She lives in New York.



Q: Did you know how your novel would end before you started writing it, or did you make many changes along the way?


A: I did not start writing the novel with the end in mind, as Behind the Bid is made up of many juicy vignettes of industry tales. When I started my novel, I wanted to reveal the secretive and elite auction world, rather than a story with a beginning, climax, and an end. 


Q: What do you think the novel says about the world of high-end auctions?


A: Behind the Bid shows the glamor and allure of the international auction world, with its high flyers and wannabes all jostling for pole position.


An underlying message of the novel is that everyone, no matter where they are in the pecking order, has some degree of insecurity coupled with ambition. 


Q: What are you working on now?


A: When I moved to the USA I started working in nonprofit institutions. The museum and philanthropic world fascinates me. In the auction world you get a precious object for a price; in philanthropy a donation is made out of goodwill and/or ego. 


Q: Anything else we should know? 


A: Since I started out as an intern in an auction house, I’ve constantly been asked about my job. I hope that this will satisfy the reader’s curiosity and that the reader will enjoy reading as much as I loved writing Behind the Bid


--Interview with Deborah Kalb

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