This Place Called Absence by Lydia Kwa

cover of the book This Place Called AbsenceThis Place Called Absence by Lydia Kwa
Genre: Fiction
Copyright Year:
Published: 2002
Publisher: Kensington
Format: Hardcover
No. of Pages: 224
No. In Series:
ISBN: 9780758201478
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In ‘This Place Called Absence, ‘ newcomer Lydia Kwa spins a breathtaking tale that slips back and forth, as smoothly as silk, between the past and present. Kwa’s spellbinding voice transports readers from the muddy, mosquito-ridden fields of 1900 China to the whorehouses and gambling dens of turn-of-the-century Singapore; from the markets and neighborhoods of contemporary southeast Asia to the offices and libraries of modern-day Vancouver, as she interweaves the stories of four remarkable women whose strikingly disparate worlds converge in a vibrant tapestry. Successful psychologist Wu Lan left Singapore to build a new life in North America, yet twenty years later, has still not shaken the remnants of her traditional Asian upbringing — nor her parents’ baffled disillusionment with her controversial life choices. Now, in the wake of her father’s suicide, she is tormented by guilt, and obsessively seeks answers within the pages of musty, obscure library volumes. Her mother, on the other side of the Pacific, must come to terms with both the devastating loss of her husband — and of her daughter. Nearly a century has passed since young Lee Ah Choi was sold into prostitution by her family, yet her voice resonates as her story unfolds, intertwined with that of runaway Chow Chat Mui. Together Ah Choi and Chat Mui face the brutal days in the Singapore brothel they now call home — and the sensuous, opium-infused nights in each other’s arms. With a startlingly vivid sense of place. and rich in unforgettable characters whose lives are bound by a common thread of spirit and survival, ‘This Place Called Absence’ is a powerful, compelling story of family and friendship, loyalty and love, that will linger in our thoughts long after the last page has been turned.
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