Keywords: Translation, multigenerational, prejudice, resilience
Ah-Mei and her French grandmother, Nainai, share a rare bond. Maybe it’s because Ah-Mei is the only girl grandchild. Or maybe it’s because the pair look so much alike and neither resembles the rest of their Chinese family. Politics and war make 1960s Shanghai a hard place to grow up, especially when racism and bigotry are rife, and everyone seems suspicious of Nainai’s European heritage and interracial marriage. In this time of political upheaval, Ah-Mei and her family suffer much—and when the family silk business falters, they are left with almost nothing. Ah-Mei and her grandmother are resourceful, but will the tender connection they share bring them enough strength to carry through? This multigenerational saga by one of China’s most esteemed children’s authors takes the reader from 1920s France to a ravaged postwar Shanghai and through the convulsions of the Cultural Revolution.
2023 Mildred L. Batchelder Award