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Fiction Contemporary Women

Butterfly Tears

by (author) Zoë S. Roy

Inanna Publications
Initial publish date
Nov 2009
Contemporary Women, Short Stories (single author), Literary
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Nov 2009
    List Price

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Butterfly Tears is a collection of short fiction that depicts the experiences of Chinese immigrant women facing the challenges of life in a new country. The stories are set in different parts of China, Canada, and the United States and examine Chinese women’s cross-cultural experiences in North America as well as women’s issues and political discrimination in China. The stories, or parts of stories, set in China give the reader interesting glimpses into events such as the Cultural Revolution and Mao’s death. In the title story, an ancient Chinese legend about two lovers and memories of a violinist who commits suicide during the Cultural Revolution haunt a young woman who fears her husband is having an affair. Leaving her abusive husband, a woman and her young son in A Beaten Mandarin Duck move to New Brunswick where they form a new family with a visiting professor from China. Twin Rivers tells the story of a female engineer who ends up in jail as a result of her love affair with a married man. Feminism and changing male/female relationships form another important theme that runs through many of the stories.

About the author

Born in China, Zoë S. Roy, an avid reader even during the Cultural Revolution, writes literary fiction with a focus on women’s cross-cultural experiences. Her publications include a collection of short stories, Butterfly Tears (2009), and two novels, The Long March Home (2011) and Calls Across the Pacific (2015), all published by Inanna Publications. She holds an M.A. in Atlantic Canada Studies from Saint Mary’s University and a M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of New Brunswick. She currently lives in Toronto and is a teacher for the Toronto Public School Board.

Zoë S. Roy's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“A witty presentation of Chinese women’s experiences in Maoist China, Canada, and the United States, the women in these stories are haunted by their past in China as they struggle with the challenges of life in a new country. Written with clarity and preciseness, these stories are deliciously symbolic.”
—li zeng, Associate Professor of Chinese Studies, University of Louisville, Kentucky

“Realistic portraits of contemporary Chinese women … whose emotional predicaments are universally resonant.”
Ricepaper Magazine

“A rare glimpse in to the dark and frightening world of the Cultural Revolution….”
—Her Circle

“As delicate and fine as the most intricately woven filigree.…The nuances of intense and deep-felt passion resonate throughout the text.… Thought-provoking and mysterious.… A work that will best be appreciated by those with an ear and an eye for the unusual and the unique, don’t let this one slip out of your sight too soon, else you might come to regret it.”

“Roy’s first attempt at fiction is promising: experimental, thoughtful and best when it delves into women’s emotions.”
Amerasia Journal

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