Flowing with the Pearl River: Memoir of a Red China Girl


Product Details

$12.99  $12.08
Santa Monica Press
Publish Date
5.0 X 8.0 X 0.9 inches | 0.55 pounds

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About the Author

Amy Chan Zhou was born in 1964 in Guangzhou, China and immigrated to the United States in 1979. She is currently working at the Montgomery County Public School system in Maryland as a substitute teacher and interpreter.


"Zhou chooses the Pearl River as her story's central emotional symbol. During times of displacement for Ah Jade's (the author's nickname) family, the river is a stark reminder of death as bloated bodies flow past her five-year-old eyes, and just a few pages later, her mother contemplates suicide by emptily peering into the water. But the river also provides fish for sustenance to the village and serves as a place to get swimming lessons. This emotional balancing act is the strength of Zhou's voice. . . . Zhou's narrative is marked with short, powerful moments of trauma, such as nervous breakdowns, physical deformities, uncontrollable crying, vacant stares, and musings on ghosts and souls. In a book of constant movement, Zhou's mother is the book's hero and moral center. After her birth during the Japanese occupation during WWII, she bears the brunt of peasant motherhood during Mao's reign. She keeps her daughters alive and does not let them join in on the emotionally-charged mobs that enforce revolutionary ideology and engage in the public shaming of political enemies. . . . The pacing is fast, and the book is stuffed to bursting with details. . . . For the curious reader of the Cultural Revolution era or of historical memoirs, you will find a quick and relatively affecting set of stories in its pages. . . . Fans of writing from the Chinese diaspora or memoirs will enjoy this."--Youth Services Book Review

"[Chan Zhou] never forgets to express her feelings and let readers feel the truth! . . . Her writing is exquisite. . . . You can feel the plot and heart of each and every paragraph of text."--Chinese American Voice

"Zhou's memory is precise and nuanced. . . . Perhaps only deeply compelling narratives, such as Flowing with the Pearl River, and skilled authors like Amy Chan Zhou can keep the lessons, experiences, and stories of our past alive."--Asia Media International