Friday 13 July 2012

Old favourite

"I see hula-hula once on TV, hip go 'round like wash machine, wavy hands like flying bird ..." Amy Tan The Hundred Secret Senses
Olivia Yee is Chinese-American. Smart, amusing and prickly she is initially delighted to discover she has a half-sister in China who is coming to live with her family in America.  She is less than thrilled with the reality of Kwan who is short, unglamorous and so exuberant she virtually bounces off the walls. Kwan adores her little sister and insists on calling her 'Libby-ah' (the Chinese equivalent of  Hey Libby!) to Olivia's eternal annoyance.
I asked Kwan once how she'd like it if I introduced her to everyone as "Hey Kwan."  She slapped my arm, went breathless with laughter, then said hoarsely "I like, I like." Amy Tan The Hundred Secret Senses
The skewed dialogue between Libby and Kwan is so warm and funny that I've read this book many times just to spend time in their company.  Such is the power of good writing.

Caustic Cover Critic had an interesting post about cover art for novels with a Chinese theme.  Have fans, lanterns and cherry blossom become cliched?  What do you think?