Happy Family: A Novel

Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
2
Free sample

When Hua Wu arrives in New York City, her life seems destined to resemble that of countless immigrants before her. She spends her hectic days in a restaurant in Chinatown, and her lonesome nights in a noisy, crowded tenement, yearning for those she left behind. But one day in a park in the West Village, Hua meets Jane Templeton and her daughter, Lily, a two-year-old adopted from China. Eager to expose Lily to the language and culture of her birth country, Jane hires Hua to be her nanny.

Hua soon finds herself in a world far removed from the cramped streets of Chinatown or her grandmother’s home in Fuzhou, China. Jane, a museum curator of Asian art, and her husband, a theater critic, are cultured and successful. They pull Hua into their circle of family and friends until she is deeply attached to Lily and their way of life. But when cracks show in the family’s perfect façade, what will Hua do to protect the little girl who reminds her so much of her own past? A beautiful and revelatory novel, Happy Family is the promising debut of a perceptive and graceful writer.
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About the author

Wendy Lee is a graduate of Stanford University and NYU’s creative writing program. She worked for three years in China and now lives in New York City. This is her first novel.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
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Published on
Jun 17, 2008
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781555849221
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Wendy Lee
Michael Tang and his sister, Emily, have both struggled to forge a sense of identity in their parents' adopted homeland. Emily, an immigration lawyer in New York City, baffles their mother, Ling, by refusing to have children. At twenty-six, Michael is unable to commit to a relationship or a career--or come out to his family. And now their father, after a lifetime of sacrifice, has passed away.

When Michael finds a letter to his father from a long-ago friend, he impulsively travels to China in the hopes of learning more about a man he never really knew. In this rapidly modernizing country he begins to understand his father's decisions, including one that reverberates into the present day. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Ling and Emily question their own choices, trying to forge a path that bends toward new loves and fresh beginnings.

Wendy Lee's powerfully honest novel captures the complexity of the immigrant experience, exploring one family's hidden history, unspoken hurts, and search for a place to call home.

Along the whitewashed mud walls are large Chinese characters written in red, sometimes ending with an exclamation point. They look as if they are out of another time period, probably some kind of propaganda. Go back! Michael imagines them saying, in a private message just for him. This is a mistake! You won't find what you're looking for!

What, or rather who, Michael is hoping to find at the end of his trip is a man named Liao Weishu. This is the name that is signed at the end of a letter that Michael discovered among his father's things after the funeral. Then his mother had come into the room, and he had put the letter in his pants pocket, where it stayed unopened for another nine months. Sometimes he would think about it, and be satisfied enough to simply know it was there.

The postmark indicated it had been sent about a month before his father's death, from someplace in China that he had never heard of and didn't think he knew how to pronounce. Unfortunately, it was written in Chinese, except for one sentence toward the end of the letter--Everything has been forgiven.

Margaret Carr
Shortlisted for the 2013 Nursery World Awards!

Margaret Carr's seminal work on Learning Stories was first published by SAGE in 2001, and this widely acclaimed approach to assessment has since gained a huge international following. In this new full-colour book, the authors outline the philosophy behind Learning Stories and refer to the latest findings from the research projects they have led with teachers on learning dispositions and learning power, to argue that Learning Stories can construct learner identities in early childhood settings and schools. By making the connection between sociocultural approaches to pedagogy and assessment, and narrative inquiry, this book contextualizes Learning Stories as a philosophical approach to education, learning and pedagogy.

Chapters explore how Learning Stories:

- help make connections with families

- support the inclusion of children and family voices

- tell us stories about babies

- allow children to dictate their own stories

- can be used to revisit children's learning journeys

- can contribute to teaching and learning wisdom

This ground-breaking book expands on the concept of Learning Stories and includes examples from practice in both New Zealand and the UK. It outlines the philosophy behind this pedagogical tool for documenting how learning identities are constructed and shows, through research evidence, why the early years is such a critical time in the formation of learning dispositions.

Margaret Carr is a Professor of Education at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Wendy Lee is Director of the Educational Leadership Project, New Zealand.

Wendy Lee
Understanding the Te Wh?riki Approach is a much–needed source of information for those wishing to extend and consolidate their understanding of the Te Wh?riki approach, introducing the reader to an innovative bicultural curriculum developed for early childhood services in New Zealand. It will enable the reader to analyse the essential elements of this approach to early childhood and its relationship to quality early years practice.

Providing students and practitioners with the relevant information about a key pedagogical influence on high quality early years practice in the United Kingdom, the book explores all areas of the curriculum, emphasising:

strong curriculum connections to families and the wider community;

a view of teaching and learning that focuses on responsive and reciprocal relationships with people, places and things;

a view of curriculum content as cross-disciplinary and multi-modal;

the aspirations for children to grow up as competent and confident learners and communicators, healthy in mind, body, and spirit, secure in their sense of belonging and in the knowledge that they make a valued contribution to society;

a bicultural framework in which indigenous voices have a central place.

Written to support the work of all those in the field of early years education and childcare, this is a vital text for students, early years and childcare practitioners, teachers, early years professionals, children’s centre professionals, lecturers, advisory teachers, head teachers and setting managers.

Wendy Lee
Michael Tang and his sister, Emily, have both struggled to forge a sense of identity in their parents' adopted homeland. Emily, an immigration lawyer in New York City, baffles their mother, Ling, by refusing to have children. At twenty-six, Michael is unable to commit to a relationship or a career--or come out to his family. And now their father, after a lifetime of sacrifice, has passed away.

When Michael finds a letter to his father from a long-ago friend, he impulsively travels to China in the hopes of learning more about a man he never really knew. In this rapidly modernizing country he begins to understand his father's decisions, including one that reverberates into the present day. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, Ling and Emily question their own choices, trying to forge a path that bends toward new loves and fresh beginnings.

Wendy Lee's powerfully honest novel captures the complexity of the immigrant experience, exploring one family's hidden history, unspoken hurts, and search for a place to call home.

Along the whitewashed mud walls are large Chinese characters written in red, sometimes ending with an exclamation point. They look as if they are out of another time period, probably some kind of propaganda. Go back! Michael imagines them saying, in a private message just for him. This is a mistake! You won't find what you're looking for!

What, or rather who, Michael is hoping to find at the end of his trip is a man named Liao Weishu. This is the name that is signed at the end of a letter that Michael discovered among his father's things after the funeral. Then his mother had come into the room, and he had put the letter in his pants pocket, where it stayed unopened for another nine months. Sometimes he would think about it, and be satisfied enough to simply know it was there.

The postmark indicated it had been sent about a month before his father's death, from someplace in China that he had never heard of and didn't think he knew how to pronounce. Unfortunately, it was written in Chinese, except for one sentence toward the end of the letter--Everything has been forgiven.

Wendy Lee Buckingham
"Free Will, No Choice" is Wendy Buckingham’s first published work, a memoir which chronicles her childhood, adolescence, and how she came to meet and join The Unification Church of Rev. Sun Myung Moon. She was to be a faithful follower for half of her adult life before becoming disillusioned by it all after making a pilgrimage to Korea intended to further deepen her faith. The story opens with the recollection of a picture-perfect day with her and her playmates enjoying a carefree life in a wooded bedroom community in the northwest suburbs of Chicago in the mid-1950s. The tragic death of her older sister from leukemia at age 8 creates a tangible disturbance in the family, and as happens all too frequently when such a tragedy strikes a young married couple, her parents divorce not long after. Her mother decides to move back to her hometown of Denver with Wendy and her younger sister Georgia, just as the girls are reaching adolescence. Mother realizes that she cannot survive for long as a single mom with two daughters without an income, and sets her sights on well-to-do bachelors in the Denver social circles. Drugs and alcohol come to be convenient avenues of escape for the author as she is moved in and out of a variety of schools before finally graduating from high school back in Illinois. She has the opportunity to do some traveling with Georgia before the independent-minded Hitchcock sisters seemingly go their separate ways. In 1975, a letter from Georgia from a new age community outside of San Francisco gets Wendy’s attention. Sensing that Georgia may have been lured into a cult of some kind, the author decides to travel to the west coast to see for herself what sister has gotten herself into. Long story short, Georgia’s stay with the Creative Community Project (aka The Unification Church) ends within 3 months. Wendy’s is to last considerably longer. Positive changes in mind, body and spirit are immediately evidenced for our heroine, who begins to experience a most substantial presence of and relationship with God. The first seven years in the movement are spent on MFT (Mobile Fundraising Teams), raising money to support Rev. Moon in his vision of building the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth (even though Jesus very plainly said that The Kingdom of Heaven is within you...). Having laid the seven year foundation of fundraising to qualify to be matched (engaged) and blessed (married) by Sun Myung Moon, the scene shifts to New York City and the New Yorker Hotel (now the World Mission Center for The Unification Church), where Rev. Moon is preparing to match 1,500 men and women with unshakeable faith in him as the 2nd Coming of Christ. Wendy emerges from the ceremony with her fiancé, Francis Buckingham, and her foot-soldier days are behind her. As family life begins, they find in one another alternative sounding boards for what they really believe and why they are doing what they’re doing. With the arrival of their son in 1991, the demands on their time and the little money they have for themselves become more and more unreasonable and unbearable. Where is the messiah when you really need him? As the storm clouds loom in the distance, hope arrives in the form of a book they discover sitting on a shelf in the home of another church couple. It’s entitled A Course in Miracles. It begins by stating: Nothing real can be threatened, nothing unreal exists. Herein lies the Peace of God. The story of the next leg of the journey is now in progress: the power of Faith guided by Wisdom.
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