Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Thousand Miles of Dreams

Reviews forA Thousand Miles of Dreams: The Journeys of Two Chinese Sisters"Welland wisely refrains from intruding on the narration, allowing her fascinating topic to speak for itself. Scholarly and 'serious' in its depth and breadth of research, Welland's book is also highly readable and full of rich detail....This is a book that enlightens as much as it delights and remains with you long after the reading."—Seattle Times"Welland is an anthropologist with a novelist's eye for the art of both making lives and making books. She weaves biography, memoir, genealogy, social history, literary criticism, and theoretical reflection coherently, accessibly, and, indeed, beautifully."—Booklist (starred review)"Filled with fascinating glimpses of 20th-century Chinese women's intellectual history and insights into the Chinese-American and Anglo-Chinese experience."—Publishers Weekly"With magnificently fluid erudition and a compassionately wry eye, Sasha Su-Ling Welland forges the story of two remarkable women whose lives expand our knowledge of twentieth-century feminism in China, the U.S., and Britain. Weaving her own autobiographical accounts into the mix, Welland deftly depicts how the absurdities of racial and sexual constructs persist over time and place, while arguing for the resolute power of following one's heart."—Anna Maria Hong, editor of Growing Up Asian American: An Anthology"This is a wonderfully written account of two Chinese modern girls whose lives traversed the entire twentieth century from China to England and the United States. Their artistic and professional accomplishments through decades of war and exile may be legendary, but their personal lives were also filled with many human frailties. Intermixed with Welland's reminiscences of growing up in the United States as an Eurasian whose mother was partly raised by an African American housekeeper, the tales of these women weave an intricate tapestry of literary pursuit, transnational migration, an interracial affair, and middle-class domesticity. The author wields the pen of a historian, an ethnographer, and a poet, but ultimately it is the writer as a granddaughter and a grandniece that gives the story its most intimate human touch."—Shu-mei Shih, University of California, Los Angeles, and author of The Lure of the Modern: Writing Modernism in Semicolonial China, 1917 to 1937"Sasha Su-Ling Welland is Heartland-born, with deep China roots. In A Thousand Miles of Dreams, she reaches back through family documents and her own scholarly reading of the historical record to create a portrait of a family's personal journey that is moving, passionate, and fully accessible."—Clark Blaise , author of I Had a Father, Time Lord, and others, and former director of the International Writers Program, University of Iowa"Sasha Welland's deft and gripping biography of her grandmother and great-aunt is elegiac but never sentimental. It is compelling, lucid, historically nuanced, and an absorbing read."—Gail Hershatter, University of California, Santa Cruz

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