Framed by Wayson Choy’s two brushes with death, Not Yet is an intimate and insightful study of one man’s reasons for living.
In 2001, Wayson Choy suffered a combined asthma-heart attack. As he lay in his hospital bed, slipping in and out of consciousness, his days punctuated by the beeps of the machines that were keeping him alive, Choy heard the voices of his ancestors warning him that without a wife, he would one day die alone. And yet through his ordeal Choy was never alone; men and women, young and old, from all cultures and ethnicities, stayed by Choy’s side until he was well. When his heart failed him a second time, four years later, it was the strength of his bonds with these people, forged through countless acts of kindness, that pulled Choy back to his life.
Not Yet is a passionate, sensitive, and beautiful exploration of the importance of family, which in Choy’s case is constituted not through blood but through love. It is also a quiet manifesto for embracing life, not blind to our mortality, but knowing how lucky we are for each day that comes.
Wayson Choy’s first novel, The Jade Peony, spent six months on The Globe and Mail’s national bestseller list, shared the Trillium Book Award for best book in 1995, and won the 1996 City of Vancouver Book Award. All That Matters, a companion novel to The Jade Peony, won the Trillium Book Award in 2004 and was shortlisted for the 2005 Giller Prize. In 1999, Choy's first memoir, Paper Shadows, was a finalist for the Governor General's Award, the Charles Taylor Prize, and the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize. He won the Edna Staebler Award for Non-fiction in 2000.
"A story of heroic transcendence of uncertainty."
— The Globe and Mail
"A harrowing, enthralling and incandescent memoir . . . a work that blends tension and sadness with joy and contemplation. And it is a reminder, as if we needed one, of why Wayson Choy is beloved, as a writer and as a man."
— Edmonton Journal