Tag: memoir

Denise Chong’s — The Concubine’s Children *****

Denise Chong’s — The Concubine’s Children *****

This is a fascinating tale of Chan Sam who left his wife in China to find gold in British Columbia. In Vancouver, he bought a concubine who worked in Chinatown to support both families.

The memoir gives a deep insight into the early lives of Chinese immigrants to Canada—the hard work they endured, the loneliness they faced, and the deep prejudice they suffered from both the government and the European community. 

M. Wylie Blanchet’s — The Curve of Time *****

M. Wylie Blanchet’s — The Curve of Time *****

After being widowed in 1927, Blanchet took off with her children as skipper in her seven metre boat every summer to tour deserted inlets and abandoned First Nation villages. She cruised single handedly from her home on Vancouver Island along the Strait of Georgia between the Gulf Islands braving storms and engine breakdowns.

This is a wonderful memoir—a Canadian classic—that made me feel as if I was on an extended holiday to these beautiful and unique isolated locations.

Qian Julie Wang’s—Beautiful country*****

Qian Julie Wang’s—Beautiful country*****

Under the repressive Mao regime, the Wangs decide to leave China. Qian’s parents are highly educated, but as illegal immigrants in the U.S., they can only take on menial work. Without papers they are trapped in a cycle of poverty, discrimination, and a fear of being deported. This takes a toll on her parents’ relationship with each other. Meanwhile, Qian starts school, but receives little support to help her learn English. Through children’s books, she begins to understand and teaches herself how to read. But can the family keep living a life where they fear they may be sent back to China?

This memoir is an insight into the lives of illegal immigrants and the endless hardships that seem impossible to overcome.

Hyeonseo Lee’s — The girl with seven names*****

Hyeonseo Lee’s — The girl with seven names*****

Hyeonnseo’s page turning memoir begins when she was a child growing up in a loving family in Hyesan, North Korea near the border with China. Her life was simple until she was school-age and her political indoctrination began, where speaking even a word against Kim il-sung and his son, Kim John-il had diabolical consequences. As she grew older, more political involvement was expected of her until the great famine occurred partly from the Soviet Union’s collapse. Teaches praised the Great Leaders for eating less during this time, but Hyeonnseo noticed no change in their robust bodies. 

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