The Jade Peony

The Jade Peony

A Novel

Book - 1995
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Chinatown, Vancouver, in the late 1930s and '40s provides the setting for this poignant first novel, told through the vivid and intense reminiscences of the three younger children of an immigrant family. They each experience a very different childhood, depending on age and sex, as they encounter the complexities of birth and death, love and hate, kinship and otherness. Mingling with the realities of Canada and the horror of war are the magic, ghosts, paper uncles and family secrets of Poh-Poh, or Grandmother, who is the heart and pillar of the family.

Wayson Choy's Chinatown is a community of unforgettable individuals who are "neither this nor that," neither entirely Canadian nor Chinese. But with each other's help, they survive hardship and heartbreak with grit and humour.
Publisher: Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, c1995
ISBN: 9781550544688
1550544683
Branch Call Number: FIC Choy 3558
Characteristics: 238 p

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List - Gems of a read
SPL_Sonya May 22, 2017

Novel about an immigrant family set during the 1930's and 1940's in Chinatown, Vancouver.


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e
Eil_1
Sep 27, 2013

This book evolves around the experiences of the lives of 3 Chinese children, Grandmother, 'Stepmother' and Father in Vancouver during the 20's and 30's. It was an enlightening and excellent story - mixed equally with humor, love and Family values. The sequel is also definitely even more engrossing.

WVMLBookClubTitles Jun 17, 2013

Choy’s first novel reads like a memoir and is a collection of stories about a family living in Vancouver’s Chinatown before and during World War II. Three siblings experience very different childhoods as they grow up amongst the strict structures of a traditional Chinese family struggling with poverty and a rapidly changing world. Sister Jook-Liang is entranced by her hero Shirley Temple, while her adopted brother Jung-Sum struggles with his sexuality and their brother Sekky becomes obsessed with war games. Stepmother is a house servant and concubine who gradually assumes the role of mother but can never achieve full status in the home. The complexity of the extended family is beautifully portrayed by Choy and his descriptions of wartime Vancouver are memorable.

j
jvanderg
Jun 08, 2012

Excellent novel deals with so many important topics. Not only that, it gives a glimpse into life in Vancouver during the 30s and 40s.

snowspirit1 May 05, 2011

Must read!

v
vwruleschick
Mar 31, 2011

It is a story told from three different perspectives that are all children of a Chinese immigrant family in Vancouver BC before and during WWII and how they are coping with a new culture, language and they fit in whilst their traditional Grandma (Poh Poh) is trying to ensure her grandchildren honour their heritage and culture and not be assimilated to their new country. A short read.

a
andieallie
Oct 29, 2010

This book greatly illustrates the poverty and discrimination that the Chinese-Canadians went through during the Depression. Each character longs to be accepted in their own way, but it's all tied together.

The language was a little difficult for me to understand; there's a lot of similies and metaphors, but if you don't struggle with descriptive vocabulary, it's a really good read.

d
dliew3
Jul 29, 2010

Great book, really tackles many issues related with identity and what it means to be Chinese-Canadian. The historical backdrop of Vancouver during WWII to really adds to the story but never draws away from the characters themselves.

m
macierules
Jun 26, 2010

One of the 2 finalists in the Canada Reads 2010 competition losing to Nikolski. Authentic-feeling Chinese immigrant experience set in Vancouver during the 2nd world war. I liked it a lot more than Lisa See's Shanghai Girls.

a
AureliaReads
Feb 01, 2010

Lovely, touching, poignant.
Very beautiful book, with interesting structure.

Reminded me of Shanghai Girls. Interesting to compare the two books.

This would make a good winner for Canada Reads 2010, but I'm still hoping for Nikolski to win.

c
Cabby
Sep 09, 2008

Book club.

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FavouriteFiction Oct 07, 2009

Three Chinese Canadian siblings tell the story of their very different childhoods in Vancouvers's Chinatown before and during World War II.

p
pie
Jun 24, 2008

Story of the life of a Chinese immigrant family through the eyes of second brother, third brother and only sister. It follows many aspects of Chinese tradition, such as superstition, while touching upon the war between China and Japan.

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pie
Aug 06, 2008

I die soon!

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pie
Aug 05, 2008

I die soon!

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p
pie
Jun 24, 2008

pie thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

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