Synopses & Reviews
'A rich book-a lyrical account of a girl's growth and self-discovery, and at the same time a deeply sympathetic exploration of Muslim culture.' J.M. CoetzeeLian is a stranger in a strange land, fighting her mother, Phi-Van, from afar. Haunted by her mother's story, Lian has run to the other side of the world, only to discover the true nature of what it means to be an outsider. As she loses herself in the confusing life of Yemen, her new foster mother country, she cannot see that the tyranny of Phi-Van's greater suffering is also her lifeline. But she must break too before she can grow.This is a rich and strange journey under the sea to the place that defines and limits us all.A luminous book about language, identity, culture and family; about a refugee mother who lost them all and a daughter who went to find them.PRAISE FOR HIAM'A debut that is truly stunning...' Australian Bookseller & Publisher'Its brilliance, innovation and daring is undeniable.' Australian Book Review'Sallis drives her story with fine writing, intense imagery and a nimble shuffle between past and present.' The West Australian
Issues of self-discovery, Muslim culture, and the mother-daughter relationship are explored in this beautifully crafted novel. Lian's father is Australian, her mother a Vietnamese refugee; growing up on a tiny island in Australia, she resents her mother's Vietnamese heritage and her own mixed race. When Lian flees her native country to study in Yemen she experiences a welcome loss of identity, immersing herself in the richness of the Arabic culture and language. But, eventually the overwhelming challenges of living in a foreign culture help her to find compassion for her mother's difficult life. Breathtaking ocean and mother-goddess imagery abound in this timely and compassionate work.
About the Author
is a professor at the University of Adelaide. She is the author of Hiam
, The Metamorphosis of 1001 Nights
, and Sheherazade Through the Looking Glass