Xing Li is what some Chinese people call a banana - yellow on the outside and white on the inside. Although born and raised in London, she never feels like she fits in. When her mother dies, she moves with her older brother to live with venomous Grandma, strange Uncle Ho and Hollywood actress Auntie Mei. Her only friend is Jay - a mixed raced Jamaican boy with a passion for classical music.
Then Xing Li's life takes an even harsher turn: the school bullying escalates and her uncle requests she assist him in an unthinkable favour. Her happy childhood becomes a distant memory as her new life is infiltrated with the harsh reality of being an ethnic minority.
Consumed by secrets, violence and confusing family relations, Xing Li tries to find hope wherever she can. In order to find her own identity, she must first discover what it means to be both Chinese and British.
|Publisher:||Legend Times Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.12(w) x 7.80(h) x 0.80(d)|
About the Author
PP Wong was born in London in 1982. Her parents, both Chinese and originally from Singapore, moved between London and Asia during her childhood. PP Wong is now a writer and is also editor of www. bananawriters.com, a platform to encourage new East Asian and South East Asian writers with thousands of readers from over 30 different countries.
Read an Excerpt
Death of a Chef Man
“Just be glad that cat is in a better place. If this were Guangdong, she’d be in a peasant’s belly by now.”
“That’s s-o-o-o racist.”
“I can’t be racist to my own race. Mama said it ain’t possible.”
“I don’t remember Mama ever saying that.”
“Well, Mama did.”
I’m not sure if my brother Lai Ker is right, but Mama isn’t here any more. She’s in heaven with Papa and my ancient cat Meow Meow. Grandma forced me to give Meow Meow to the RSPCA she’s twenty years old and I know what happens to old pets. Grandma told me she had to go ’cos she was “dirty”, “smelly” and “carrying millions and millions of germs”. She also said I couldn’t keep my Bart Simpson clock with the dent on his forehead. Lai Ker is allowed to bring his Xbox, but only after we clean it with baby wipes. But he can’t bring any of the big-leafed plants he grows in his room and sells to his mates ’cos Grandma’s two gardeners are already really busy.
We didn’t always live with Grandma. For twelve years, I lived in a cosy trio Mama, Lai Ker and me. We were the Kwans of 187C Kilburn Road the British Chinese family who played loud pop music and spoke with cockney-Chinese accents. Lai Ker was more cockney; Mama was more Chinese and I was something in between. We only saw Grandma, Auntie Mei and strange Uncle Ho once a year ’cos Mama said Grandma was a super busy lady and didn’t have time for us. Every time we saw Grandma she wouldn’t talk to Mama unless it was to complain.
“Why you not put more soy sauce in fish? It taste like armpit.”
“Your kitchen so dirty, rats must be having disco here every day.”
“Your flat too small only fit in midgets.”
Mama would just ignore Grandma, and carry on as if Grandma wasn’t there. I asked Mama why she never fought back and she said that when people fight it means they care.
Mama always tried to teach me what was right or wrong. She told me lots of things like how I must never leave any rice on my plate, if I did I would get giant spots on my cheeks for every grain of rice left. Also, I should always leave the plastic on TVs, mobile phones and sofas ’cos they last longer that way. But I’m never gonna know what Mama thinks about anything any more ’cos Mama is not here. Mama is gone forever and there’s nothing I can do about it.
Mama died on my twelfth birthday.