The The Chinese Knot

by Lien Chao

TSAR Publications | April 22, 2008 | Trade Paperback

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Award-winning author Lien Chao weaves together these emotionally charged short stories focusing on Chinese immigrants in Toronto''s multiracial neighbourhoods.

In a public playground Wei Ming finds herself strangely alone, but she takes an unusual step when she observes the prejudices at work among the parents and children; middle-ages and divorced, Katherine mulls over the possibilities of spending a loney life and marrying a stable and safe Chinese suitor whose food tastes are from a different region; making an impulsive phone call to China, Yi Mei discovers her love for a "wanton woman" Ai Hui, whom she left behind more than a decade ago; Teacher Lu is an advisor, a refuge and even a prospective bride to her various students . . . The female protagonists of these and other stories find love, face loneliness, confront crises, and overcome racial stereotypes as they evolve and grow in an ever-changing milieu.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 136 pages, 8.94 × 7.53 × 0.4 in

Published: April 22, 2008

Publisher: TSAR Publications

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1894770439

ISBN - 13: 9781894770439

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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– More About This Product –

The The Chinese Knot

by Lien Chao

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 136 pages, 8.94 × 7.53 × 0.4 in

Published: April 22, 2008

Publisher: TSAR Publications

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 1894770439

ISBN - 13: 9781894770439

About the Book

Award-winning author Lien Chao weaves together these emotionally charged short stories focusing on Chinese immigrants in Toronto's multiracial neighbourhoods.

In a public playground Wei Ming finds herself strangely alone, but she takes an unusual step when she observes the prejudices at work among the parents and children; middle-ages and divorced, Katherine mulls over the possibilities of spending a loney life and marrying a stable and safe Chinese suitor whose food tastes are from a different region; making an impulsive phone call to China, Yi Mei discovers her love for a "wanton woman" Ai Hui, whom she left behind more than a decade ago; Teacher Lu is an advisor, a refuge and even a prospective bride to her various students . . . The female protagonists of these and other stories find love, face loneliness, confront crises, and overcome racial stereotypes as they evolve and grow in an ever-changing milieu.

Read from the Book

African Lion Safari Katherine Wang leans comfortably against the backseat of the car. Her nine-year-old daughter, Lily, sits in the front passenger seat. Next to Katherine sits Susan Thomson, who knows both Katherine and John Lei, the driver. Early summer sunshine slants through the rear car window, brightening the beige interior of the new Honda Accord Sedan. "Beautiful day, isn't it?" Susan starts a conversation. Soft music rises from the CD player on the dashboard. "Indeed," John echoes from the driver seat. It is an hour's drive from Toronto to the African Lion Safari Park near Cambridge, west on Highway 401. Turning around under the seatbelt, Lily whispers to her mother over her small shoulders, "Mum, I like it." "Shhhh," Katherine raises her right index finger, "like what?" "This car," the girl whispers back. "Uncle Lei might be able to take you out more often, right, John?" Susan says. "Sure, Sue. Yes, Lily, maybe we can go to the Toronto Zoo next weekend." John tilts his head towards the girl. Susan pulls Katherine's sleeve quietly. The two women exchange a look of mutual understanding. "Thank you, John, but I'm not sure about my schedule for next weekend," Katherine doesn't want to be obligated yet. The car continues on the highway at a steady pace. Katherine scrutinizes the man sitting in front of her. John's bushy hair looks as if it was sprayed with pepper and salt, but more salt than pepper. Silver wire-framed sunglasses sit on his nose. For their first date arra
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Table of Contents

Introduction vii, Under the Monkey Bars 1, Rose 15, African Lion Safari 31, A Wanton Woman 53, Water and Soil 63, Neighbours 79, The Cactus 89, The Chinese Knot 103

From the Publisher

Award-winning author Lien Chao weaves together these emotionally charged short stories focusing on Chinese immigrants in Toronto''s multiracial neighbourhoods.

In a public playground Wei Ming finds herself strangely alone, but she takes an unusual step when she observes the prejudices at work among the parents and children; middle-ages and divorced, Katherine mulls over the possibilities of spending a loney life and marrying a stable and safe Chinese suitor whose food tastes are from a different region; making an impulsive phone call to China, Yi Mei discovers her love for a "wanton woman" Ai Hui, whom she left behind more than a decade ago; Teacher Lu is an advisor, a refuge and even a prospective bride to her various students . . . The female protagonists of these and other stories find love, face loneliness, confront crises, and overcome racial stereotypes as they evolve and grow in an ever-changing milieu.

About the Author

Lien Chao has observed Chinese life though her work in the community as well as her interactions with Chinese immigrants in ESL clasrooms. She came to Canada in 1984. Her first book, Beyond Silence: Chinese Canadian Literature in English, was published in 1997 and won the Gabrielle Roy Award for Canadian Criticism. Her works linclude Maples and the Stream and More than Skin Deep (poetry), Tiger Girl (Hu Nu) (memoir), and Strike the Wok: An Anthology of Contemporary Chinese Canadian Fiction, which she co-edited.

Editorial Reviews

Spacing Magazine In her introduction to these eight stories about Chinese-Canadian women living in Toronto, Lien Chao calls herself a kind of urban photographer, roaming the city''s physical and human geographies in search of a telling snapshot. Chao finds her inspiration in the experiences of women she''s met, and through their stories of unlikely friendship, immigration aftershock, and splintered identity. These tales unfold and shift frequently in time and space, moving forward and back to detail moments of decision, crisis, and clarity. Chao tells these women''s lives like hymns sung to the multicultural city, which, though not without its trials, emerges as a space of hope and acceptance in a treacherous world. Chao is at her best when unravelling images playful and poignant: a middle-aged woman hangs motionless from monkey bars; a well-loved cactus comes to stand in for an absent friend. Often her small-scale plots are enlivened with revelations of secret love, reversals of fortune, or improbable triumphs. Not all is well in the Toronto of Chao''s heroines, who must stand witness to racial slurs in "Under the Monkey Bars," or intolerance for single mothers in "Neighbors." Families are ripped apart and romance is crushed by the rigours of the immigration process and the harsh job market New Canadians face. Since they never seem contrived or filled-out just for effect, these trials ring with respect for and fidelity to her real-life source material, if not in every detail
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