In 1995, during the publicity tour for his much-acclaimed first novel, The Jade Peony, Wayson Choy received a mysterious phone call from a woman claiming to have just seen his mother on a streetcar. He politely informed the caller that she must be mistaken, since his mother had died long ago. “No, no, not that mother,” the voice insisted. “Your real mother.”
Inspired by the startling realization that, like many children of Chinatown, he had been adopted, Choy constructs a vivid and moving memoir that reveals uncanny similarities between his award-winning first novel and the newly discovered secrets of his Vancouver childhood. From his early experiences with ghosts, through his youthful encounters with cowboys and bachelor uncles, to his discovery of family secrets that crossed the ocean from mainland China to Gold Mountain in the form of paper shadows, this is a beautifully wrought portrait of a child's world from one of Canada's most gifted storytellers.