I ♥ one book projects. The Toronto Public Library, another not so secret love of mine, has just released its “one book” pick. Click here for details (the site says “Check back March 1 for the complete Keep Toronto Reading website. The full site will have special online content – including a virtual exhibit – that lets you further explore the themes and issues….”).
Are we ready for the (institute for) feminist legal (studies) one book project? The online book discussion board? Let me know, please (email slawrence at osgoode dot yorku dot ca. It could be non/fiction/biography/graphic/what you wish. It could be a journal article (a really special one). We could debate which book to read. Or not. We could try for book discussions in smoky bars or tea shops, or just online. We could do it in winter (what else is there to do, apologies snowboarders) or summer (reading outside!).
Midnight at the Dragon Café: A vivid portrait of a childhood divided by two cultures
[Judy Fong Bates]
Set in a small Ontario town in the 1960s, this debut novel by Judy Fong Bates tells the story of a young Chinese girl and her family –the owners of the only Chinese restaurant in town.
Through Su-Jen’s eyes, the hard life behind the scenes at the Dragon Café unfolds. As Su-Jen’s father works continually for a better future, her mother, a beautiful but embittered woman, settles uneasily into their new life.
When Su-Jen’s half-brother arrives, smouldering under the responsibilities he must bear as the dutiful Chinese son, he forms an alliance with Su-Jen’s mother, one that will have devastating consequences. Written in spare, intimate prose, Midnight at the Dragon Café is a vivid portrait of a childhood divided by two cultures and touched by unfulfilled longings and unspoken secrets.
I know that “divided by two cultures” is the new Canadian cliché, I know. I like tim hortons too. Some clichés have content with overriding value that belies their status as cliché – or is that that sometimes a cliché is really well executed?