May 29, 2010

Judy Fong-Bates in Vancouver

On Friday May 29, 2010, Judy Fong-Bates gave a reading at UBC's Irving K. Barber Learning Centre. In partnership with Random House Canada, UBC Community Partners for Learning, the Chinese Canadian Historical Society (CCHSBC), the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop (ACWW), Schema Magazine, the North American Association of Asian Professionals (NAAAP), and ExplorAsian, the IKBLC invited author Judy Fong-Bates' for a reading of her new book, Year of Finding Memory. An elegant and surprising book about a Chinese family's difficult arrival in Canada, and a daughter's search to understand remarkable and terrible truths about her parents' past lives. Growing up in her father's hand laundry in small town Ontario, Judy Fong Bates listened to stories of her parents' past lives in China, a place far removed from their every-day life of poverty and misery. But in spite of the allure of these stories, Fong Bates longed to be a Canadian girl. Fifty years later she finally followed her curiosity back to her ancestral home in China for a reunion that spiralled into a series of unanticipated discoveries. The Year of Finding Memory explores a particular, yet universal, world of family secrets, love, loss, courage and shame. This is a memoir of a daughter's emotional journey, and her painful acceptance of conflicting truths. In telling the story of her parents, Fong Bates is telling the story of how she came to know them, of finding memory. Watch as Larry Wong, Vancouver community historian, introduce Judy to the audience.