Joyce Burns Zeiss has always wanted to be a writer. After retiring from teaching junior high school, she became a member of Off Campus Writers Workshop in Winnetka, IL. Her experiences with resettling a Chinese Cambodian refugee family in 1979 and her subsequent trips to work in refugee camps in Africa have fueled her interest in the plight of the refugee.
Zeiss' first novel, OUT OF THE DRAGON'S MOUTH, is based on the true-life experiences of a fellow teacher who fled Viet Nam as an adolescent to cross the South China Sea in the hold of a fishing boat. It was published by Flux in March, 2015.
A graduate of Northwestern University, Joyce also holds an M. A. from DePaul University in English, and a reading specialist degree from
National Louis University. She is represented by The Purcell Agency, LLC.
She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, Off Campus Writers Workshop, the Society of Midland Writers, the Chicago Writers Association, and The Writers.
Zeiss and her husband reside in a suburb of Chicago with their dog, Charcoal. When she isn’t writing, she tutors at-risk children in reading, babysits for her grandchildren, and sneaks away several times a year to travel the world.
E-mail her at email@example.com
An authentic portrayal of life in a refugee camp
OUT OF THE DRAGON'S MOUTH...
After the fall of South Vietnam, fourteen-year-old Mai, a young Vietnamese girl of Chinese descent, is torn from a life of privilege and protection and forced to flee in the hold of a fishing trawler across the South China Sea. Mai finds tenuous safety in a refugee camp on an island off the coast of Malaysia, where she is taken in by Small Auntie, a greedy relative who demands payment for her hospitality. With her father's words, "You must survive," echoing in her ears, Mai endures the hardships of the camp, tempered only by dreams of being sponsored by her uncle in Chicago for entry into America.
When an accident forces Mai to flee from the safety of her temporary family, she meets a half-American boy named Kien who might be the only person who can keep her alive until she's sent to the US.
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ALL AUTHOR'S ROYALTIES ARE BEING DONATED TO REFUGEE RELIEF