Each fictional diary invites readers into the world of a girl living through a particular period in Canada's past. Gillian Chan's latest addition illustrates the effect the Chinese Head Tax has on one young girl and her family. Mei-ling and her father are struggling to pay the head tax that will allow her mother and brother, who are still living in China, to come to Canada. They must have that money before the impending Exclusion Act bars any more Chinese from immigrating. What will happen if they can't come up with enough in time to reunite their family?
About the Author
After being an English teacher for ten years, Gillian Chan realized her dream of becoming a writer in 1994. Her first book, Golden Girl and Other Stories, was shortlisted for the Mr. Christie's Book Award. A companion collection, Glory Days and Other Stories, was also a Christie nominee, and made the shortlist for the 1996 Governor General's Literary Award. When she turned to writing novels, Gillian was able to combine her writing with her love of history, writing such books as The Carved Box and A Foreign Field.
During her preparations for An Ocean Apart, Gillian travelled to Vancouver several times, walking the streets that would have been familiar to Mei. Her husband read and translated Chinese newspapers for her from the period in which the story was set. She has just finished writing a new title about the War of 1812 for Dear Canada's "little brother," the I Am Canada series.