The End of East

The End of East

eBook - 2008
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A moving portrait of three generations of the Chan family living in Vancouver's Chinatown

Sammy Chan was sure she'd escaped her family obligations when she fled Vancouver six years ago, but with her sister's upcoming marriage, her turn has come to care for their aging mother. Abandoned by all four of her older sisters, jobless and stuck in a city she resents, Sammy finds herself cobbling together a makeshift family history and delving into stories that began in 1913, when her grandfather, Seid Quan, then eighteen years old, first stepped on Canadian soil.

The End of East weaves in and out of the past and the present, picking up the threads of the Chan family's stories: Seid Quan, whose loneliness in this foreign country is profound even as he joins the Chinatown community; Shew Lin, whose hopes for her family are threatened by her own misguided actions; Pon Man, who struggles with obligation and desire; and Siu Sang, who tries to be the caregiver everyone expects, even as she feels herself unravelling. And in the background, five little girls grow up under the weight of family expectations. As the past unfolds around her, Sammy finds herself embroiled in a volatile mixture of a dangerous love affair, a difficult and duty-filled relationship with her mother, and the still-fresh memories of her father's long illness.

An exquisite and evocative debut from one of Canada's bright new literary stars, The End of East sets family conflicts against the backdrop of Vancouver's Chinatown - a city within a city where dreams are shattered as quickly as they're built, and where history repeats itself through the generations.


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2008
ISBN: 9780307369857
0307369854
Characteristics: 1 online resource

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WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

In this remarkable first novel the author draws on her deep roots in the Vancouver Chinese community. Inspired by her own grandfather's life, the narrative weaves in and out of past and present, bringing us some understanding of the Chinese immigrant experience. It is a story of separation and profound loneliness, family obligations and disillusionment - and some of the most interesting characters you'll ever meet.

j
John_M
Feb 06, 2014

Yet another Chinese immigration story set in Vancouver, but well written and interesting to read.

d
dbed
Oct 31, 2012

A very well written novel. The author's poetic prose evoked smells and physical sensations of Vancouver over almost 100 years. It was personal but also gave a good account of what it was like for early Chinese immigrants in Vancouver.

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Baharak
Jul 24, 2008

Sammy Chan is leaving behind her unfinished thesis and her boyfriend in Montreal and returning to Vancouver in order to take care of her elderly mother. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that the real reason behind her homecoming is her desire to connect with the history of her parents and grandparents immigration to Vancouver’s old Chinatown.

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