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This title in other editions

Midnight at the Dragon Cafe

by

Midnight at the Dragon Cafe Cover

ISBN13: 9781582431895
ISBN10: 1582431892
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Judy Fong Bates's fresh and engaging first novel is the story of Su-Jen Chou, a Chinese girl growing up the only daughter of an unhappy and isolated immigrant family in a small Ontario town in the 1950s. Through Su-Jen's eyes we see the hard life behind the scenes at the Dragon Cafe, the local diner her family runs. Her half-brother Lee-Kung smolders under the responsibilities he must carry as the dutiful Chinese son. Her mother, beautiful but bitter, lays her hopes and dreams on Su-Jen's shoulders, until she turns to find solace in the most forbidden of places, while Su-Jen's elderly father strives to hek fuh, swallow bitterness, and save face at all costs.

Review:

"In this deeply affecting debut novel by the author of the short story collection China Dog, intrepid Su-Jen Chou, the only daughter of parents who flee Communist China in the 1950s to become proprietors of a Chinese restaurant in an isolated Ontario town, watches as her family unravels. In Irvine, it is 'so quiet you can hear the dead,' and Su-Jen's mother, Jing, beautiful and bitter, laments her imprisonment in an unfamiliar country. To Jing's chagrin, Su-Jen's father, Hing-Wun, much older than his wife, believes in the traditional method for obtaining wealth: endless hard work. When Su-Jen's handsome older half-brother, Lee-Kung, comes to live with the family and help out in the restaurant, Su-Jen is happy, but soon she notices her mother and Lee-Kung exchanging veiled glances and realizes they're keeping some dangerous secret. Increasingly, Su-Jen finds herself caught between her parents, who have 'settled into an uneasy and distant relationship...their love, their tenderness, they give to their daughter.' She seeks relief in books and in the Chinese tales her father loves to tell, but the trouble festering comes to a head when a mail-order bride arrives for her brother. Bates conveys with pathos and generosity the anger, disappointment, vulnerability and pride of people struggling to balance duty and passion." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The mounting suspense of family secrets makes this first novel a breathless read....The haunting characters in that lonely greasy spoon evoke a tradition stretching back to Carson McCullers." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Deeply satisfying: a lovely sensuality pervades in spite of the harshness of the world Bates portrays so eloquently. Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Fong Bates has emerged with her first novel, a work that often reads like the best finely crafted memoir." Globe and Mail

Review:

"[Judy Fong Bates] has been compared with Alice Munro because of her controlled prose and the currents of feeling that seethe beneath the surface of her fictional Ontario town." Vancouver Sun

Review:

"Su-Jen's guilelessness and reluctant awakening to the dark realities around her are utterly believable. And in spite of the sometimes heinous acts they commit, Su-Jen's family members still manage to evoke our sympathy." Quill & Quire

Review:

"[Judy Fong Bates's] prose is unornamented and exact, sometimes catching the light, other times as transparent as glass to let us see into the Dragon Café" National Post

Review:

"Judy Fong Bates has created a novel that does what the very best fiction can do — take us into a world we could not have otherwise entered; put us among people we could not otherwise know. As quintessentially Canadian as Alice Munro, and equally delightful to read." Shyam Selvadurai

About the Author

Judy Fong Bates is the author of the short story collection China Dog: And Other Tales from a Chinese Laundry. Stories from that collection have been broadcast on CBC Radio. Judy Fong Bates lives in Toronto.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

mbtm2003, July 21, 2009 (view all comments by mbtm2003)
Personally, I love to read debut novels. I love the thrill of discovering books that most people haven’t read, yet. ‘Snow Falling on Cedars’ by David Guterson is one great example. Released in 2005, ‘Midnight at the Dragon Café’ is another great debut novel. The cover picture grabbed my attention first, and as I began reading, the plot did, too. You can read the synopsis listed elsewhere on this page, but the synopsis really does not do this book justice. The division of an immigrant family trying to make their way in a new country while trying to maintain their culture makes for richly detailed reading. The main character, a young girl, tries to make sense of all the swirling events going on around her while trying to fit in with her peers. Set against the backdrop of the idealistic naiveté of a small Canadian town the 1950s, the reader aches for the young girl and her family as they struggle, although some of the strife is self-induced. At the end of the book, some hope is present as the family comes to grips with its situation and some not-so-easy resolutions.
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Patricia, August 22, 2006 (view all comments by Patricia)
Another coming of age novel, set in Canada. This will be the Oregon Reads selection for 2007. The main character, a young Chinese girl, is caught between two cultures, and also between two sides of a family. Not as good as Kite Runner, but an insightful look into an immigrant's stuggle with the outside world and also the private world within the family.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781582431895
Author:
Bates, Judy Fong
Publisher:
Counterpoint LLC
Subject:
General
Subject:
Chinese
Subject:
Ontario
Subject:
BIO026000
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20050331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 13.5 oz

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Midnight at the Dragon Cafe Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 336 pages Counterpoint Press - English 9781582431895 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In this deeply affecting debut novel by the author of the short story collection China Dog, intrepid Su-Jen Chou, the only daughter of parents who flee Communist China in the 1950s to become proprietors of a Chinese restaurant in an isolated Ontario town, watches as her family unravels. In Irvine, it is 'so quiet you can hear the dead,' and Su-Jen's mother, Jing, beautiful and bitter, laments her imprisonment in an unfamiliar country. To Jing's chagrin, Su-Jen's father, Hing-Wun, much older than his wife, believes in the traditional method for obtaining wealth: endless hard work. When Su-Jen's handsome older half-brother, Lee-Kung, comes to live with the family and help out in the restaurant, Su-Jen is happy, but soon she notices her mother and Lee-Kung exchanging veiled glances and realizes they're keeping some dangerous secret. Increasingly, Su-Jen finds herself caught between her parents, who have 'settled into an uneasy and distant relationship...their love, their tenderness, they give to their daughter.' She seeks relief in books and in the Chinese tales her father loves to tell, but the trouble festering comes to a head when a mail-order bride arrives for her brother. Bates conveys with pathos and generosity the anger, disappointment, vulnerability and pride of people struggling to balance duty and passion." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The mounting suspense of family secrets makes this first novel a breathless read....The haunting characters in that lonely greasy spoon evoke a tradition stretching back to Carson McCullers."
"Review" by , "Deeply satisfying: a lovely sensuality pervades in spite of the harshness of the world Bates portrays so eloquently.
"Review" by , "Fong Bates has emerged with her first novel, a work that often reads like the best finely crafted memoir."
"Review" by , "[Judy Fong Bates] has been compared with Alice Munro because of her controlled prose and the currents of feeling that seethe beneath the surface of her fictional Ontario town."
"Review" by , "Su-Jen's guilelessness and reluctant awakening to the dark realities around her are utterly believable. And in spite of the sometimes heinous acts they commit, Su-Jen's family members still manage to evoke our sympathy."
"Review" by , "[Judy Fong Bates's] prose is unornamented and exact, sometimes catching the light, other times as transparent as glass to let us see into the Dragon Café"
"Review" by , "Judy Fong Bates has created a novel that does what the very best fiction can do — take us into a world we could not have otherwise entered; put us among people we could not otherwise know. As quintessentially Canadian as Alice Munro, and equally delightful to read."
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