Arts & Leisure

Book Review: Made in China: A Memoir of Labor and Love by Anna Qu

BOOK REVIEW:

Made in China: A Memoir of Love and Labor — by Anna Qu

When Anna was a small child in China, in the early ’80s, her father grew ill and died and her mother sought and failed to get support from his family. She fled to America, leaving Anna with her grandparents. After marrying again and having two more children, and financially secured with a family garment business, her mother was able to bring her over, but upon arrival, Anna was kept hidden, treated as a subservient member of the family, left behind when the family went on vacations. She was also forced, as a teen, to work long hours at the family factory in abhorrent conditions. These transgressions against her at the hands of her mother and stepfather, are revealed in clear and accurate prose. As a teen, she confides in a guidance counselor who encourages her to report the conditions under which she is being forced to live to child services, and a case worker is brought in, solving, in Anna’s belief, her immediate concerns. This restrained but moving memoir uncovers harsh untruths about the lives of immigrant families, exposing the incalculable cost of generational trauma. Much of what Anna endures leaves her feeling silenced, and this book ensures her voice will be heard.  

— Reviewed by Jenny Lyons of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury

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