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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Her Mother's Voice by Anna Woo

Her Mother's Voice
By Anna Woo 

Genre: General Fiction, Asian American Fiction


Her Mother’s Voice is about the mother-daughter relationship and cultural conflicts. It is about a Chinese mother who is dying of cancer and her adult daughter, Emily. Emily consciously and unconsciously struggles with her Chinese identity due to her experiences of racism and alienation, growing up as a second generation Canadian in a mid-sized Ontario town. She struggles against being the good and dutiful Chinese daughter, yet finds herself playing this role. Consequently, she finds herself searching for a professional who can help cure her mother’s cancer. Western and Chinese medicine are pitted against each other. 

In addition, she has been hiding her romantic relationships from her mother. Now with her mother dying, she is forced to face her fears and become open about her current relationship with a White Anglo-Saxon man.

Brief Excerpt:

"Emily-a, give me call, it important," said the voice on the answering machine.

"Em…" the familiar voice cried out. Emily stood in her apartment after a long day of conducting assessments and pressed and pressed the skip button on her answering machine until no new messages appeared. Emily-a! She heard her mother’s voice in her head calling her. Her pronunciation never changed in intonation or tone, except to get louder. Emily-a! She said her name out loud with a Chinese accent. She always thought it was funny how her mother changed English names into Chinese sounding ones just by adding the letter “a.” Friends’, neighbours’, even strangers,’ names became more Chinese-like. Accepted. For example Debby became “‘Debby-a”, Charlie became “Charlie-a”, Cindy became “Cindy-a” and so on. It even made it easier for her mom to talk or gossip about that person too!

But why does she keep calling?

Author Bio

Anna Woo was first published in 1993 in a collection of short stories called Sharing our Experience, by the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women. 

She has a Master Degree in Education in Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto/Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (1997). As well, she completed the Creative Writing program through The Humber School for Writers in 2002. 

Her Mother’s Voice is her first fictional novel. 

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