I was refreshing my memory on an Ursula K. Le Guin book last December when I stumbled upon Isaac Yuen’s writing through a Google search. The book was The Left Hand of Darkness, and it ended up being part of an essay I wrote about climate fiction. Isaac had written about The Left Hand of Darkness well before me, and after browsing around on his site a little bit more, I realized he’d written about several other works that had a big impact on me—namely Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino and The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker.
After reading several of Isaac’s pieces, I found the contact form on his website and sent an admittedly impulsive email. I was still in the early stages of doing Stories for Earth, and I thought it would be great to invite Isaac to be my first interview guest. It didn’t work out, but Isaac was very kind in his reply and we exchanged a couple more emails about Ursula K. Le Guin.
Nearly a year later, and Isaac and I finally made that interview happen. It’s weird to think now that I originally talked to Isaac in September, but I don’t need to tell you what a time warp 2020 has been. Isaac currently lives in Vancouver, Canada on unceded Coast Salish territory, but he spoke with me from Berlin, Germany.
We talked about Isaac’s background as a writer, how the two cities he’s called home—Hong Kong and Vancouver—shaped his perception of nature, diversity in the nature writing space, and more. Isaac was also kind enough to read two short stories, his most recently published “El Lugar de Los Sueños” in The Willowherb Review and “Journeys to HYRULE_” in Newfound.
It was extremely gracious of Isaac to share some of his time with me. I hope you enjoy our conversation, and be sure to read Isaac’s work at the links below.