Lim left Malaysia soon after the 13 May 1969 race riots — on Fulbright and Wein Fellowships — for the United States. Though Li An marries Henry, a graduate student from a wealthy Chinese family, she befriends and then falls for Chester Brookfield, an American Peace Corps volunteer. Lim is a cross-genre writer, although she identifies herself as a poet. It takes place over a period of time: we first meet Li An in Malaya, where Li An, a modern girl, is newly married to her traditional Chinese husband. As Lim's characters try to find a way back to their pasts and each other, they are caught up in the larger tensions between East and West, women and men, freedom and responsibility.
The conflicts that surround Li An in the politically charged atmosphere of Kuala Lumpur in 1969 intersect with her own internal contradictions: although she supports her nation's struggle to build its own identity after decades of British colonial rule, she cannot renounce her love for the English poetry that she teaches. Personal Website: Shirley Geok-Lin Lim is a Professor in the English Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In a writing and academic career spanning 40 years, she. In all of this comes Chester: an American peace corps volunteer. Yet Lim's insights are piercing.
On the same night, Li An and Chester are drawn together at last, setting a course that will change both their lives. Her social circle is small: she feels different from Henry, her husband, due to how traditional he is though their marriage is a love marriage. She has also taught internationally at the National University of Singapore, the National Institute Education of Nanyang Technological University, and was the Chair Professor at the University of Hong Kong where she also taught poetry and creative writing. The novel is set in 1969 Kuala Lumpur, against a backdrop of political turmoil and social changes. The many threads of the story come together in Li An's daughter, Suyin, a girl with two fathers, three mothers, a host of contradictions, and a watchful curiosity about what the future will bring.
She hadn't been able to imagine what kind of life she could have without being Chinese. With insight and wit, Lim shows us that what we expect may not always be what we get, but all roads lead us, ultimately, to our deepest selves. She has authored several books of poems, short stories, and criticism, and serves as editor and co-editor of numerous scholarly works. If you have the time of the world then I will not stop you but those who just want to have a good read with fresh ideas and story, skip this book and get something else. The conflicts inherent in Li An's life, and in her country, are rising to crisis point: as Malaysia approaches the volatile elections of 1969, Li An's marriage to a traditional Chinese man is threatened by her sexually charged friendship with Chester, a long-haired American Peace Corps volunteer. Chester will return to find Li An very changed, and his American wife will find herself at the ignorant end of a long-distance call from Singapore.
Tragedy touches Li An's family as anti-Chinese riots break out amidst the politically charged atmosphere of 1969 Malaysia. I've read alot of books, and yes, this one has very strong descriptive vocabulary but a very weak plot. Newton, a lecturer at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, conducted an interview on migration in September 2000, 1 and spoke again on 19 January 2013 to talk about women claiming their bodies, and their selves, through writing. When tragedy strikes on the personal and societal levels, Li An and her young friends find their lives turned upside down, and each must make decisions that will have far-reaching repercussions. This elegantly crafted tale places Lim among the most imaginative and dexterous storytellers writing in the English language today. He returns only to find that a very independent Li An has built a solid life for herself and her daughter amidst a very non traditional family of women.
After Chester leaves behind Malaysia and a pregnant Li An, this ambitious three-part novel jumps ahead in time to take on his life in 1980s America. But her work - and her heart - are devoted to the study of English literature, a legacy of colonial culture. And although she aspires to be a new kind of Asian woman—independent and unsentimental—she finds herself married to the safe and dependable Henry, and attracted to an American Peace Corps volunteer, Chester. She has a keen eye for the effects of American imperialism, and she can write bitterly funny scenes, as she does when Chester has a vasectomy. Lim has woven these strands together in a colorful batik that is dazzling. The E-mail message field is required. But her work - and her heart - are devoted to the study of English literature, a legacy of colonial culture.
Masterfully evoking the passions and struggles across three nations and decades, this book weaves a poignant fabric from the complex threads of human identity, friendships, and gender relations, all of which are utterly inextricable from the others. Forced together by election-night riots, they finally give in to their attraction - with results neither of them had imagined. If they ask for trouble, they get it. Gina hadn't been clever enough to rise above history. Chester will return to find Li An very changed, and his American wife will find herself at the ignorant end of a long-distance call from Singapore.
Eleven years after their encounter, Li An will find herself in self-imposed exile as the mother of an Amerasian child and the head of a family of independent women. With insight and wit Lim shows us that what we expect is not always what we get, but all roads lead us, ultimately, to our deepest selves. When the novel opens, Malaysia—only 11 years independent—comprises an uneasy mix of Malays, Chinese and Indians among many others and is struggling to find its identity—not unlike the protagonist, Li An, a Malaysian-born Chinese enamored of British poets and beginning her first job, as an English tutor. Eleven years after their encounter, Li An will find herself in self-imposed exile as the mother of an Amerasian child and the head of a family of independent women. It takes place over a period of time: we first meet Li An in Malaya, where Li An, a modern girl, is newly married to her traditional Chinese husband. As Lim's characters try to find a way back to their pasts and each other, they are caught up in the larger tensions between East and West, women and men, freedom and responsibility.