I received a copy of The Chinese Knot and Other Stories by Lien Chao thanks to TSAR books and Mini Book Expo for Bloggers. This collection of short stories focuses on single Chinese women living in Canada as immigrants.
In Under the Monkey Bars, Wei Ming finds alone ina public payground, where she observes the racial prejudices at work between parents and children. In Rose, the main character Rose reflects on what brought her from China to Canada as an immigrant and the strained relatiosnhip with her family afterwards. In African Lion Safari, Katherine reflects on the possibility of spending a lonely life or marrying a Chinese suitor whose food tastes are from a different region. In A Wanton Woman, Yi Mei, after making an impulsive phone call to China discovers her love for "wanton woman" Ai Hua. In Water and Soil, Shirley mulls over her relationship to the Chinese and the Canadian soil. In Neighbours, Sally observes her neighbourhood in Toronto's multiracial environment. In The Cactus, Judy recounts her friendship with Mark and Pierre. In The Chinese Knot, Teacher Lu is an advisor, refuge, and even a prospective bride to her various students.
The female protagonists of these stories are all single women who find themselves in Canada as strangers. They find love, overcome crises, face loneliness, and confront racial stereotypes as they grow in Canada's increasingly multiracial scenario.
I rarely read collections of short stories, but I found this book appealing and interesting. The characters are taken in significative moments of their lives, in which they must resolve a problem or discover something new about themselves. Author Lien Chao explores their lives as they face prejudice, loneliness or life crises.
I would recommend this book to those who want to know more about Chinese immigrants in Canada, or more in general about the condition of being an immigrant in Canada.