On The Same Page 2007


The Jade Peony and All That Matters> by Wayson Choy
In these continuing novels, siblings tell the story of their family's move from China to Vancouver in the 1930's, as the elders cling to the traditional ways and the children try to become a part of the modern world. Poignant and compelling.

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress Sijie Dai
During the Chinese Cultural Revolution, two boys are sent to the countryside for reeducation, where their lives take an unexpected turn when they meet the beautiful daughter of a local tailor and stumble upon a forbidden stash of Western literature.

Mona in the Promised Land by Gish Jen
Witty and smart beyond her years, Mona's acts of adolescent rebellion are a source of endless frustration for her traditional Chinese-American parents. Her struggles to become independent while remaining a "good Chinese daughter" are chronicled with intelligence and wit.

Dim Sum of All Things by Kim Wong Keltner
As an ABC (American-born Chinese), twenty-something Lindsey finds that living with her traditional Chinese grandmother does not mesh well with her single-girl-in-the-city lifestyle. On a visit to long-lost relatives in China, Lindsey comes to see that her unique identity comes from a blend of the two cultures, the old and the new.

China Boy by Gus Lee
Kai Ting emigrates to America with his Chinese family. Following the death of his mother, Ting's father marries a stern and domineering American who is determined to rid the household of all that is Chinese. Kai is caught between the two cultures until he discovers that boxing lessons provide a way for him to gain self-confidence.

Pangs of Love by David Wong Louie
These short stories by a noted Asian-American author focus on the differences between generations rather than the differences between cultures. Louie allows his characters to adjust to new cultures as they continue to remember their heritage. Considered a classic in Asian literature.

Face Aimee Liu
With a father from China and a mother from Wisconsin, Maibelle Chung has never felt entirely at home in New York's Chinatown. When she becomes the photographer for a project to record the lives of the people who live in the district, Maibelle gets to know the residents, eventually making some discoveries about her own family's history.

Becoming Madame Mao, Empress Orchid, and The Last Empress by Anchee Min
Based upon the lives of two of China's most powerful figures, Anchee Min portrays women who manage to overcome great obstacles so that they might serve the homeland that they love. In Becoming Madame Mao, young Yuhne is a headstrong girl who rejects her painful foot bindings and heads for a life in the opera, eventually falling in love with the equally headstrong Mao Tze-tung, future leader of Communist China. In Empress Orchid, Tzu Hsi was born into poverty and rose to become the wife of an emperor in 19th century China; her tale is told in two volumes, the second of which (The Last Empress) will be published in April 2007.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
In China's Hunan Province, Lily, from a rural area, and Snow Flower, from a village, become lifelong friends as revealed by the messages that they wrote in nu-shu, a secret code. A favorite among book clubs, this novel in the form of a memoir depicts the formality of the rules that restricted the lives of Chinese women in the 19th century.