Synopses & Reviews
In this remarkable first novel, three young children -- a sister and her two brothers -- come of age in an immigrant Chinese family in vancouver during the early 1940s. Intertwined with the stories of the children are the experiences of their elders, Old Wong and Poh-Poh. Side by side, the five family members survive hardships and heartbreaks with grit and humor, discovering a new land -- without forgetting their common ground.
With its episodic forward movement and rich period detail, its delightful set pieces and flashback interpolations, The Jade Peony
resembles a memoir in its texture” New York Times
"The Jade Peony is a sweet and funny novel ...[it] delights us with beautifully written prose, but it does more than that, too. It renders a complex and complete human world, which, by the end of 200-odd pages, we have learned to love."Boston Book Review
"Childhood lessons are quietly, powerfully drawn here, with Choy's evocation of harsh immigrant reality nothing short of masterful."Kirkus reviews
"Although Choy's work is fictional, it realistically echoes the difficult life struggles of early Chinese Cantonese immigrants as captured in such biographical works as Denise Chong's The Concubine's Children and Ben Fong-Torres's The Rice Room"Library Journal
"Insightful, wise, and touching"Christian Science Monitor
Chinatown, Vancouver, in the late 1930s and 40s provides the setting for this poignant first novel, told through the vivid and intense reminiscences of the three younger children of an immigrant family. They each experience a very different childhood, depending on age and sex, as they encounter the complexities of birth and death, love and hate, kinship and otherness. Mingling with the realities of Canada and the horror of war are the magic, ghosts, paper uncles and family secrets of Poh-Poh, or Grandmother, who is the heart and pillar of the family.
Wayson Choy's Chinatown is a community of unforgettable individuals who are neither this nor that,” neither entirely Canadian nor Chinese. But with each other's help, they survive hardship and heartbreak with grit and humour.
Table of Contents
AUTHOR'S NOTE vii
Jook-Liang, Only Sister, 3
Jung-Sum, Second Brother, 73
Sek-Leung, Third Brother, 143
A READING GROUP GUIDE, 279