Year of the Dragon: A Colorable Graphic Memoir Based on Dancing in Their Light

Year of the Dragon: A Colorable Graphic Memoir Based on Dancing in Their Light

Year of the Dragon: A Colorable Graphic Memoir Based on Dancing in Their Light

Year of the Dragon: A Colorable Graphic Memoir Based on Dancing in Their Light


    Qualifies for Free Shipping
    Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for delivery by Thursday, March 7
    Check Availability at Nearby Stores

Related collections and offers


Debbie Chinn's first book, "Dancing in Their Light: A Daughter's Unfinished Memoir," (Strange Fate Publishing, 2022) encapsulated her life as a 'restaurant kid, ' growing up in her family's prominent New York restaurant and Polynesian nightclub, Mah Jong Restaurant, during the 1960s and 70s.

Debbie wondered how she might tell the story of "Dancing in Their Light" in an educational and pictorial way to depict the arc of her family stories and of the defining bicultural moments in U.S. and Chinese civic relationships, in which her family of immigrants played a significant part.

At the same time, Debbie has long been intrigued by the power of art therapy. Music, theatre, and dance have been sources of balm for her, as she describes in "Dancing in Their Light." Moreover, a constant through line in her career as a successful arts CEO has been developing programs that connect art with emotional recalibration.

"Year of the Dragon" is the first in a series of "colorable graphic memoirs" based on the themes and stories of "Dancing in Their Light." It is an homage to Chinese New Year, representing new beginnings.

The series features the extraordinary talents of author and artist Ginna BB Gordon, editor of Debbie's first book, "Dancing in Their Light." A multitalented woman, Ginna is an artist at the core, and has painstakingly rendered the exquisite colorable illustrations in this book by hand, beautifully capturing the essence of Debbie's family's story.

The creators of this volume hope it serves as a fun, educational, and intergenerational activity to inspire you to learn more about the cultures and norms of Chinese New Year, and to give you an insight into how Debbie's family enterprise, Mah Jong Restaurant, grew to become one of the most popular culinary destinations during the gilded age of dining, 1960-1980.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9798218327774
Publisher: Strange Fate Publishing
Publication date: 01/01/2024
Series: Colorable Graphic Memoir , #1
Pages: 94
Sales rank: 804,867
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.26(d)

About the Author

My first job was at the age of three. I was put to work selling cigarettes and cigars at my parents' restaurant, Mah Jong Restaurant, on Long Island, New York. This is when I first learned how to calculate math. Cigarettes were 45 cents/pack. I was usually given a dollar bill and I had two quarters and a nickel ready to hand back over the counter. As I got a little more brazen, I would upsell ("if you want to buy a pack of Winstons, I can give you a cigar for 25 cents").I got my first promotion when I turned six. My mother sent me to the bar to help put toothpicks into cherries, pineapple slices, onions, and olives. Had I been given a title, it would have been Barback - the person who assists the Bartender in maintaining smooth operations. I was pretty good at it and I was also asked to squeeze fresh lemons and oranges and stock the glassware on the lower shelves - easy to do when you are 3'6".Sitting at the barstool doing my barback services gave me the opportunity to engage in small talk with our customers. "I made the garnishes!" I would exclaim to the customers who couldn't resist ordering another round or two as we all admired my toothpick artwork. My father took note of my ability to cultivate attention and told me to just stay there since I was good for business.I graduated from the barstool and by the time I was eleven years old, I was thrust into the world of the South Seas when our restaurant became a Polynesian nightclub. I became an exotic hula dancer and a sword dancer during my teenage years.Little did I know that selling tobacco, fixing drink garnishes, and dancing with sharp knives would be the key steppingstone to my career as an arts executive.I have long hung up my grass skirt and, over the past 30+ years, have held C-suite positions as Executive Director of TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Opera Parallèle, Carmel Bach Festival, as Managing Director of California Shakespeare Theatre, Baltimore's Center Stage, and Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey. Since 2020, I have been engaged as the Managing Director for Anna Deavere Smith's "Pipeline Girls" Project. I inherited an ethos of enriching the communities where I live and work. I'm so honored to serve as Board President of the San Francisco Community Music Center, the boards of the Playwright Foundation, and the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco. I am the past Board Chair of Theatre Bay Area and my past board affiliations include Theatre Communications Group, the Association of California Symphony Orchestras (Board President), and Network of Ensemble Theatres.My transformative leadership work in the realm of community engagement is featured as one of 13 case studies in "Creative Social Change: Leadership for a Healthy World" in the International Leadership Association Series, available through Amazon, which assembles thought leaders to reimagine leadership in building a healthy, sustainable, and equitable world.The breadth of my work - as an artist, performer, community builder, event producer, board member, author, mentor, consultant, activist, as well as a CEO - will be archived with the Performing Arts Legacy Project as a resource and a hopeful inspiration for those - particularly women of color - who aspire to take on leadership positions in the non-profit sector.I am the first arts CEO to have my career archived as part of the Performing Arts Legacy My book, "Dancing in Their Light, a Daughter's Unfinished Memoir," published in March 2022, chronicles my life growing up in a restaurant and Polynesian nightclub as influenced by the pioneering impact my family of immigrants have made to advance the fields of research, science, medicine, academia, engineering, arts, humanities, cultural diplomacy, and culinary hospitality in the U.S. I still love to dance...and I may pull my grass skirt back out of the closet soon...

Ginna BB Gordon has been involved in art and books throughout her life. As a chef, she has written six books about cooking; as a novelist, she has penned four; at nine years old, her first, and hand-written book was an illustrated graphic "how-to" entitled How to be Obnoxious in Twenty-Five Easy Lessons, instigated by her annoyed 11-year-old brother. Although Ginna's career as a chef, retreat cook and event planner (for Rainbow Ranch in Calistoga, California, the Chopra Center for Well Being, Steven Segal, Carmel Music Society, the Carmel Bach Festival and a few other memorable people and notable institutions) demanded most of her time and attention, she studied and pursued other art forms as respite from the hustle and bustle of the food and event business. She was fortunate to spend a year with Alison Stillwell Cameron in the study of Chinese Calligraphy and focused a decade or more on the art of book design and construction. Add the years studying Tibetan Thangka Painting in Santa Cruz with a Tulku and you've got an artist comfortable with a calligraphy brush, pencils and pens and Asian design elements. Now Ginna, an editor and book designer, continues her love of the art of books with her husband and business partner, David Gordon (, an illustrious tenor, also a book designer and typographer. If they had met during their careers as chef and tenor, she would be getting up to bake bread as he was getting home from the opera stage. Together, Ginna and David are Lucky Valley Press. Visit for more information and Ginna's complete Bio.
From the B&N Reads Blog

Customer Reviews