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Paper Shadows : A Chinatown Childhood
by Wayson Choy | Biographies & Memoirs
Registered by brewski of Markham, Ontario Canada on 12/7/2003
Average 7 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by -Steppenwolf-): to be read


3 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by brewski from Markham, Ontario Canada on Sunday, December 07, 2003

This book has not been rated.

This is a softcover edition of the book with a subtitle of 'A Chinatown Childhood' rather than 'A Memoir of a Past Lost and Found'.

From Amazon.com
Canadian novelist Wayson Choy is an only child of Chinese immigrants to Vancouver, reticent, hardworking people who struggled to keep him from losing his cultural identity and becoming a mo-no--"Chinese but not Chinese." At the age of 56, after giving a radio interview on the publication of The Jade Peony, his award-winning novel about Vancouver's Chinatown, a woman with an unfamiliar voice called to tell him that the people he had known as his mother and father had in fact adopted him. Why she chose to speak out to Choy when none of his family had ever shared the secret with him is unclear. Although this revelation prefaces Choy's memoir and cannot help but color it for the reader, his book is less a search for his birth parents than a loving and tender reconstruction of his childhood with his true, adoptive family. One of the highlights of his early years were his regular visits to the Cantonese opera at the Sing Kew Theatre on Shanghai Alley. Only later did he realize that the running translation his mother provided for him had been falsified, with all the tragic endings made happy. "I never saw the same opera that everyone else did," Choy muses, adding that her whispered narratives had constructed within him "a permanent barrier against pessimism, perhaps even against adversity... If I turn my head at a certain angle, I can still see Mother crying, her perfumed hankie above me, her face streaked with tears. And, in some other sphere, I see Mother laughing like the Buddha, her spirit unyielding, her mythic lies flying between us like bright pennants." As Choy realizes during his search for information, there is some knowledge that can't be gained from a merely true account. This haunting memoir serves better than a birth certificate to say who the writer is. 


Journal Entry 2 by brewski from Markham, Ontario Canada on Sunday, December 07, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Offered on CasualReader's BookRelay site. 


Journal Entry 3 by brewski from Markham, Ontario Canada on Monday, December 08, 2003

7 out of 10

Going to minerswifebb in Greenwood, British Columbia Canada once I finish reading it.

Dec/15/2003 Update:
I finished reading this and am sending it off to minerswifebb, but first let me tell you what I thought of this book.

I enjoyed Choy's writing style quite a bit, but I feel like I would have enjoyed this memoir more if I had read his novel The Jade Peony first. 


Journal Entry 4 by minerswifebb from Similkameen, British Columbia Canada on Monday, December 22, 2003

This book has not been rated.

Paper Shadows arrived today in my mailbox...thanks, I am looking forward to reading another Wayson Choy as I really enjoyed The Jade Peony.
Ouch that postage though! Canada Post is not bookcrossing friendly! 


Journal Entry 5 by minerswifebb from Similkameen, British Columbia Canada on Friday, October 22, 2004

This book has not been rated.

It took me a while to get to this book but I enjoyed it very much. Wayson Choy is a marvellous writer...I am about his age and grew up inland 500 miles from Vancouver in a small town with two Chinese families whose paths and mine never crossed. Reading this book took me into the life of a small Chinese boy living in Vancouver and the author's almost poetic way with words made the people, events, foods and celebrations of Chinatown plusjoys and fears of this little boy absolutely come alive! 


Journal Entry 6 by minerswifebb at -- Controlled Release in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, March 02, 2005

This book has not been rated.

Released 12 yrs ago (3/7/2005 UTC) at -- Controlled Release in Vancouver, British Columbia Canada

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

controlled release to paperbackpal...I hope you enjoy this one as much as I did! 


Journal Entry 7 by -Steppenwolf- from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada on Monday, March 07, 2005

This book has not been rated.

I have have Paper Shadows in my possession thanks to minerswifebb who brought it for me on her visit to Vancouver. We had a lovely chat over coffee and it was fun to meet another Bookcrosser from out of town, especially the very same Bookcrosser that had released the book up north that I found here in Vancouver that introduced me to Bookcrossing to begin with! I finally got to meet my Bookcrossing parent! :)
I love Wayson Choy, have already read The Jade Peony, and I will enjoy reading this book. I will read it and then release it at the local OBCZ. :)

PS I am also PaperbackPal :) 


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