Chinksta rap is all the rage in Red Deer, Alberta. And the king of Chinksta is King Kwong, Run’s older brother. Run isn’t a fan of Kwong’s music – or personality, really. But when Kwong goes missing just days before his crowning performance and their mom gets wounded by a stray bullet, Run finds himself, with his sidekick, Ali, in the middle of a violent battle between Red Deer’s rival gangs – the Apes and the Necks – on the run from his crush’s behemoth brother, and rethinking his feelings about his family and their history, his hatred of rice-rap and what it means to be Asian.
- Short-listed, A.M. Klein Poetry Prize 2015
In a Metro review of Jon Chan Simpson's debut novel, Chinkstar, Matt Kwong writes that "lifestyles of the Asian diaspora generally aren’t typical narratives in pop-lit," but "genre fiction is probably richer for [Chinkstar], a novel that "beginsas a whodunnit [and] later assumes the character of a graphic novel without the art panels, packing in kung-fu violence and the kind of macho, portentous dialogue that brings to mind comics writer Frank Miller’s 1980s work on Batman. "
'What sets Chinkstar apart is the stylized presentation of a performer who is looking for an audience, a young man who is seeking a place, a connection, something to call his own. ' - Marion Milner, Buried in Print
Globe and Mail reviewer Carleigh Baker calls Jon Chan Simpson's debut novel, Chinkstar, "a fresh and totally badass exploration of history, language and cultural truthiness. " Baker says that Simpson's somewhat controversial "idosyncratic mash-up of Chinese slang and African-American rap" is an "energetic and modern exploration of Canadian immigrant culture" that is "sorely needed. "
'Chinkstar is a refreshing read, as the narration is like a story from a friend a few beers deep at a winding down party; enthralling and informal, with so much action you know you should quit for some rest, but can't. ' - Ricepaper
'Confident in its tone and unapologetic in its uniqueness, Chinkstar is an unforgettable experience, and one that makes me hopeful to see more unique Asian Canadian voices in the literary scene soon. ' - Maple Tree Literary Supplement
National Post interviewer Chandler Levack writes that Simpson has a 'fresh voice and flair for vivid imagery . .. [Chinkstar's] an entertaining and subversive summer read. '
"[Chinkstar is] the best debut novel I've read so far this year. " - Michael Hingston, Edmonton Journal