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History General

Lives of the Family

Stories of Fate and Circumstance

by (author) Denise Chong

Random House of Canada
Initial publish date
Sep 2014
General, Emigration & Immigration, China
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2014
    List Price

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International bestselling author of The Concubine's Children, Denise Chong returns to the subject of her most beloved book, the lives and times of Canada's early Chinese families.
     In 2011, Denise Chong set out to collect the history of the earliest Chinese settlers in and around Ottawa, who made their homes far from any major Chinatown. Many would open cafes, establishments that once dotted the landscape across the country and were a monument to small-town Canada. This generation of Chinese immigrants lived at the intersection of the Exclusion Act in Canada, which divided families between here and China, and 2 momentous upheavals in China: the Japanese invasion and war-time occupation; and the victory of the Communists, which ultimately led these settlers to sever ties with China.
     This book of overlapping stories explores the trajectory of a universal immigrant experience, one of looking in the rear view mirror while at the same time, travelling toward an uncertain future. Intimate, haunting and powerful, Lives of the Family reveals the immigrant's tenacity in adapting to a new world.

About the author

Denise Chong is an award-winning and internationally published author. The Girl In The Picture was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, as was her memoir, The Concubine’s Children. She lives in Ottawa with her husband and two children.

Denise Chong's profile page

Editorial Reviews

Praise for The Lives of the Family:
 • "The stories are powerful, poignant and personal, but they are also microcosms of the immigrant experience in this country of immigrants." The Vancouver Sun
 • "True stories that have the resonance and substance of fiction." Toronto Star
 • "Chong seamlessly conveys an enormous amount of historical information in compelling narrative tales. Bravo." The Georgia Straight

Other titles by Denise Chong