American Visa

American Visa

by Wang Ping, Ping Wang
     
 

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1996 Book for the Teen Age, The New York Public Library. Seaweed's story, from Maoist China to her New York emigration. "In this first collection of 11 linked stories, the intimate drama of one traditional Chinese family plays against theSee more details below

Overview

1996 Book for the Teen Age, The New York Public Library. Seaweed's story, from Maoist China to her New York emigration. "In this first collection of 11 linked stories, the intimate drama of one traditional Chinese family plays against the

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this first collection of 11 linked stories, the intimate drama of one traditional Chinese family plays against the larger backdrop of the Cultural Revolution. Wang's determined, intelligent heroine, Seaweed, is the eldest daughter of a naval officer and a schoolteacher living near Shanghai. The family drudge at home, Seaweed's hardships continue in a rural village where she undergoes ``re-education'' by peasants as a prerequisite for college. Years later, after emigrating to New York, she tries to send for her sisters, to get them American visas. ``The Story of Ju'' is a gripping, longer tale of how Seaweed's promising student hangs herself rather than submit to a marriage arranged by her abusive stepfather. ``Song of Four Seasons'' is a generous-spirited story of a mother and daughter revising their opinions of one another after many years. Although these are universal themes of sibling rivalry, mother-daughter conflict and love, the dilemma of an intelligent woman with limited opportunities, matchmaking, adultery, bodily shame, they are also distinctively Chinese, drawing on Chinese legends, language and customs. Wang, who holds degrees from both Chinese and American universities, writes simply in a conversational English that is remarkably effective whether she is writing about life in China or in New York. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
YA-This collection of vignettes hangs together through the first-person narration of Seaweed, one of three sisters living in China during Mao's Cultural Revolution. Families suffer from the unexpected decisions handed down by the government, and everyone with ``counterrevolutionary'' ties is deprived of privilege of the most basic kind. Seaweed had been preparing for college, but instead she is sent to the countryside for retraining as a peasant. Arduous work and wise choices lead her to be chosen for English language instruction, which eventually allows her to emigrate to New York City. There she finds more arduous work and loneliness. Her family, however, insists on staying in China, and Seaweed makes sacrifices to send them money. The incidents described are sometimes gloomy, but always realistic and historically accurate. Seaweed, the sister with the least romantic name, becomes a character whom YA readers can easily admire and respect.-Ginny Ryder, Lee High School, Springfield, VA

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781566890250
Publisher:
Coffee House Press
Publication date:
09/01/2008
Pages:
172
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)

What People are saying about this

Colin MacCade
"American Visa is an astonishing piece of writing. It's direct and sentimental prose offers a portrait of Chinese family life and what it means to be a woman in China. As Seaweed moves from home, to a peasant village, to New York, we are moved by this record of suffering and persistence, of the desperate desire to move beyond the family and yet remain within it."
Mary Morris
"In these moving, heart-rending stories, told with amazing honesty, Wang Ping has captured the immigrant Chinese experience. She weaves a journey from the emotional and intellectual wasteland of China during the Cultural Revolution to the anonominity and dispair of New York is truly memorable. Wang takes her characters dreams and dillusions and renders them with warmth and humor."

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