Read The Concubine's Children by Denise Chong Free Online
Book Title: The Concubine's Children|
The author of the book: Denise Chong
Edition: Penguin Canada
Date of issue: April 4th 1995
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 8.55 MB
City - Country: No data
ISBN 13: 9780140126020
Loaded: 2968 times
Reader ratings: 5.4
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The Concubine’s Children is the story of a family cleaved in two for the sake of a father’s dream. There’s Chan Sam, who left an "at home" wife in China to earn a living in "Gold Mountain"—North America. There’s May-ying, the wilful, seventeen-year-old concubine he bought, sight unseen, who labored in tea houses of west coast Chinatowns to support the family he would have in Canada, and the one he had in China. It was the concubine’s third daughter, the author’s mother, who unlocked the past for her daughter, whose curiosity about some old photographs ultimately reunited a family divided for most of the last century.
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Read information about the authorDenise Chong, writer, public servant, political advisor (b at Vancouver, BC 9 June 1953). Denise Chong, a third-generation Canadian of Chinese descent, grew up in Prince George. She earned a BA in Economics at the University of British Columbia (1975) and an MA in Economics and Public Policy at the University of Toronto (1978). Chong began her writing career as a journalist on the Ubyssey, the UBC student newspaper. Denise Chong is renowned as a writer and commentator on Canadian history and on the family.
A 1987 visit to her mother's ancestral village in Guangdong inspired Chong's best-known book, The Concubine's Children (1994). It is the story of her grandmother May Ying (the concubine) and her mother Hing, and their life in the Chinatowns of British Columbia. Much of that history had been hidden from Chong's own generation. The book also tells the story of the family members who were unable to leave China, and lived there through the Japanese occupation, civil war, the Communist takeover, land reform, and the Cultural Revolution. It is a story of courage, survival, struggle, and eventual triumph.
The Concubine's Children won a number of awards, including the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction and the City of Vancouver Book Award. Translated into many languages, it touched a chord among readers far beyond the Chinese-Canadian world. The book celebrates the contributions immigrants have made to a country that may not have welcomed them warmly, but did allow them to make their way in life. Chong's work has stimulated other writers to embark on family histories, giving the stories of how their families settled in Canada. Denise Chong herself is a dedicated, though not a flag-waving, nationalist; her feelings are captured in her 1994 speech "Being Canadian," which has been widely anthologized.
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