Monkey Hunting (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

by Cristina Garcia | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0345466101 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingbartonzwing of Bellevue, Washington USA on 12/9/2007
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3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingbartonzwing from Bellevue, Washington USA on Sunday, December 09, 2007
From Amazon:

The Chinese-Cuban experience is plumbed in this graceful third novel by Garcia (Dreaming in Cuban; The Aguero Sisters), encompassing five far-flung generations, four countries and two tumultuous centuries. Farm boy Chen Pan leaves his native China in 1857, dreaming of the riches awaiting him in mysterious Cuba. Instead, he is obliged to work on a sugarcane plantation, subjected to the atrocities of forced servitude in a country that is not his own and in which he is viewed with suspicion. He eventually manages to escape and creates a life for himself beyond his wildest dreams, as a successful small-business owner, beloved husband and doting father. Becoming almost more Cuban than Chinese, he falls in love with Lucrecia, a former slave. His mixed-blood descendants, scattered between Cuba and China, struggle to find their place in a world that strives to keep its ethnic and geographical boundaries distinct. Chen Fang, a granddaughter raised as a boy in China, is a remarkable woman who manages to get an education and become a teacher, eventually landing in one of Mao's appalling prisons in 1970 Shanghai. As a teenager, great-grandson Domingo Chen departs Cuba for New York with his father and faces the same hostility and racism there that Chen Pan dealt with in mid-19th-century Havana. Domingo's journey from Cuba to New York then Vietnam is told in unsparing detail, bringing the novel full circle. Though Garcia ranges farther afield here than in previous works, her prose is as tight and polished as ever. The book is rather short for its span, and a bit more development of some characters-particularly Chen Fang-would have been welcome, but that is a mere quibble. Garcia's novel is a richly patterned mini-epic, a moving chorus of distinct voices.

reserving for the Passport to the World VBB round 3

Journal Entry 2 by wingbartonzwing from Bellevue, Washington USA on Thursday, July 17, 2008
Sent to Azuki for Passport VBB

Journal Entry 3 by wingAzukiwing from Miami, Florida USA on Sunday, August 03, 2008
Book has arrived safely, thank you. Actually it has arrived for a while but I was on vacation.

Journal Entry 4 by wingAzukiwing at Miami, Florida USA on Thursday, November 10, 2016
It's interesting that while Cristina Garcia doesn't have Chinese ancestry, she has chosen to write a story about a Chinese Cuban family. Most of the Asian American literature I read are by authors writing at least partly from their own experience growing up Asian American, and most of the time they are from a female point of view. Cristina did her research well, and more than just quoting poems and sayings, she was able to work the cultural backgrounds into the characters so they think according to their culture.

Nonetheless, this is a relatively short novel, and she tried to make it epic including five generations of the family, as well as encompassing historic events such as Cuban Independence War, WWII and the cultural revolution. Inevitably, this results in very fragmented and limited narration for most characters, leaving me feeling not very engaged with them and unsatisfied with the many gaps in between.

Released 1 yr ago (4/28/2017 UTC) at Conchas Little Free Library in Lisboa - Lumiar , Lisboa (cidade) Portugal

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

Visiting this LFL, with its founder, for the first time bearing gifts of books!

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Journal Entry 6 by lurdesolivera at Lisboa - Avenidas Novas, Lisboa (cidade) Portugal on Wednesday, May 30, 2018
Just found this book on a bench at the book fair in Lisbon ... Bookcrossing... what an interesting idea

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