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Immigrant stories by Canadian authors  
Poignant accounts by
second-generation children of Canadian immigrants about the struggles and hardships of their parents as they uproot themselves from their origin country and adapt to their lives in their host country, Canada. These stories are told in fiction and non-fiction narratives.


Wayson Choy was born in Vancouver to immigrant parents.  His father worked as a cook for the Canadian Pacific Ocean Steamship Line and was often away at sea.  Wayson Choy was the first Chinese Canadian to enroll at the UBC Creative Writing Course.  He teaches English at the Humber College in Toronto and at the Humber School of Writers.  Wayson is best know for his book The Jade Peony, an intimate portrait of an immigrant family living in Vancouver during WWII. The Jade Peony won the 1996 City of Vancouver Book Award. Choy shared with Margaret ATWOOD the 1996 Trillium Book Award.

Other works include: Paper Shadows, a Chinatown Memoir; and All That Matters.

The Red Wedding Gown (Wedding Traditions)


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Denise Chong was born in Vancouver, BC and grew up in Prince George.  She worked as an economist with the Department of Finance, and worked as an economic policy  advisor to the late Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau from 1980 to 1984.    Denise’s career in writing began with her search of her family roots in China, leading to her memoir “The Concubine’s Children: Portrait of a Family Divided.” – a true story account of her family generational split between China and British Columbia.   The book  received the City of Vancouver Book Award in 1994, the VanCity Book Prize, and was shortlisted for a Governor General's Award, and was on the bestseller list of The Globe and Mail for 93 weeks. 


Joy Kogawa was born in Vancouver in 1935 as a second-generation Japanese Canadian.   She studied education at the University of Alberta and briefly taught at school.  During World War II, Kogawa and her family were evacuated to Slocan, British Columbia and later to Coaldale, Alberta.  20,000 Japanese Canadians were interned during World War II. Under the War Measures Act in 1942, many had lost their property and possessions.  Kogawa  wrote about the war injustices suffered by Canadian Japanese in her collection of poetry, essays, children's literature, and the novels Obasan, Istuka, and The Rain Ascends. Obasan, her best known book won several book awards; The central character of this book is Naomi, who reappears in Kogawa's children's book, Naomi's Road and again in Itsuka. The latter text concentrates on the emotional and political involvement of Naomi in the Japanese-Canadian redress movement.


Madeleine Thein was born in Vancouver to immigrant parents who immigrated from Malaysia to Canada in 1974.  Madeleine received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.   Simple Recipes, her award-winning first book of fiction, was a regional finalist for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book, and named a notable book by the Kiriyama Pacific Rim Book Prize. Thien  also won the Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop's Emerging Writer Award and the CAA Air Canada Award for most promising Canadian writer under the age of thirty.    Certainty, a stunning new novel by Thein, tells a multi-generational saga of a family starting with events from a Malaysian village during the WWII Japanese occupation to the eventual family immigration to Canada.


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