Ancestors (Magill's Literary Annual 1989)
To have been brought up in Hong Kong in the latter half of the twentieth century is to have been both blessed and cursed. A tiny territory, thriving on a free enterprise system that attracts people from all over the world, ruled by the British but living under the giant shadow of the Communist mainland to which it will revert at the end of the century, Hong Kong is the insecure home of more than four million people. Many fled inimical governments, uprooting centuries-old family traditions, to live there; those who can afford to leave are ready to move again and make a life elsewhere; some have already left.
Frank Ching, a Chinese-American journalist, is one who returned to Hong Kong to search for his family origins and to live, one of a band of progressive reformers. His father, a prominent lawyer who helped draft the constitution of the Republic of China, left China in disillusionment. The author consequently was born in Hong Kong in 1940 and was named for President Franklin D. Roosevelt, whom his mother admired. The family returned to China temporarily in 1942 when the Japanese attacked and occupied the city. After the war, the Ching family returned to Hong Kong, where the author lived until he moved to the United States at age nineteen. Benefiting from the renewal of relations between the United States and China in 1971, Ching started his search in 1973, when he was in his early thirties. Ancestors: Nine Hundred Years in the Life of a Chinese...
(The entire section is 1449 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1989)
Booklist. LXXXIV, February 15, 1988, p. 968.
Chicago Tribune. April 5, 1988, V, p. 3.
Kirkus Reviews. LVI, February 1, 1988, p. 174.
Library Journal. CXIII, March 1, 1988, p. 65.
Los Angeles Times Book Review. April 3, 1988, p. 1.
The New York Times Book Review. XCIII, April 3, 1988, p. 3.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXXIII, January 29, 1988, p. 418.
The Wall Street Journal. April 27, 1988, p. 24.
The Washington Post Book World. XVIII, March 20, 1988, p. 1.
(The entire section is 54 words.)