Synopses & Reviews
This anthology of autobiographical essays reveals the human side of the Chinese diaspora. Written by ethnic Chinese who were born or raised outside of China, these moving pieces, full of the poignant details of everyday life, describe the experience of growing up as a visible minority and the subsequent journey each author made to China. The authorswhose diverse backgrounds in countries such as New Zealand, Denmark, Sri Lanka, England, Indonesia, and the United States mirror the complex global scope of the Chinese diasporadescribe in particular how their journey to the country of their ancestors transformed their sense of what it means to be Chinese. The collection as a whole provides important insights into what ethnic identity has come to mean in our transnational era.
Among the pieces is Brad Wong's discussion of his visit to his grandfather's poverty-stricken village in China's southern Guangdong province. He describes working with a few of the peasants tilling vegetables and compares life in the village with his middle-class upbringing in a San Francisco suburb. In another essay, Milan Lin-Rodrigo tells of her life in Sri Lanka and of the trip she made to China as an adult. She describes the difficult and sometimes humorous cultural differences she experienced when she met her Chinese half-sister and her father's first wife.
Josephine Khu's lively afterword provides background information on the Chinese diaspora and gives a theoretical framework for understanding the issues raised in the essays. This intimate and rich anthology will be compelling reading for all who are seeking answers to the increasingly complex issue of ethnic and personal identity.
"A rich, important slice of Chinese diasporic experience."John Kuo Wei Tchen, Asian Pacific American Studies Program and Institute, New York University
"[These essays] open up a realm of experience in immigration and ethnic history that is not often discussed: the impact of the journey 'home,' even if the person involved had never been to their country of 'origin' before. . . . [Cultural Curiosity] provides some important insights as to what it means to be 'Chinese' in a transnational era."K. Scott Wong, Associate Professor of History, Williams College
About the Author
Josephine M. T. Khu is a Visiting Scholar at the Centre of Asian Studies at Hong Kong University.
Table of Contents
Preface, by Josephine M. T. Khu
Full Circle, by Nancy Work
Through a Window, by Graham Chan
Travels Afar, by Maria Tham
In Search of Lin Jia Zhuang, by Milan L. Lin-Rodrigo
No Roots, Old Roots, by Graziella Hsu
My Father's Land, by Meilin Ching
Ears Attuned to Two Cultures, by Henry Chan
Guilt Trip to China, by Richard Chu
In Search of My Ancestral Home, by Myra Sidharta
A Yellow American in China, by Bradley J. Wong
One Family, Two Fates, by Carolyn Koo
In My Father's Shadow, by William Shang
Coming Home, by Lily Wu
Epilogue, by Josephine M. T. Khu