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  • Jul 14, 2014
  • Updated: 7:48pm

Yeh Yeh's House - A Memoir

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 26 March, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 26 March, 2006, 12:00am

Yeh Yeh's House - A Memoir

by Evelina Chao

St Martin's Griffin, $109

As a child of immigrant parents, American-born violist Evelina Chao recalls her 1950s childhood as one of embarrassment - at her mother's poor English, her own Chinese face, her disciplined home life, and her sense of 'otherness'. Then she visited Beijing with her mother in 1987 and was able to begin to reconcile the cultural divide that existed between them. But Beijing just two years before Tiananmen had changed, and Chao's mother could see that the city she remembered was disappearing as whole streets and blocks were bulldozed for redevelopment. Yeh Yeh's House takes its title from the home of her grandfather, a poet and professor of English in Beijing, whose letters give Chao her own image of a China she had never seen. 'Keenly aware of the contradictions at work in this brutal and beautiful land, she exquisitely articulates the hard-won wisdom and complex emotions inherent in the difficult lives of her kind and resilient relatives, many of whom suffered horrifically during the Cultural Revolution,' says Booklist. Another reviewer said: 'It will resonate with anyone who has felt emotionally lost in a foreign country.'


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