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Love and Vertigo/Teo, Hsu-Ming/Paper/1865082783/S052-D1
Allen & Unwin
"For the first time in my life, I saw my mother in relation to her family, and I didn't recognise her any more... These Singaporean roots of hers, this side of her - and possibly of me too - were unacceptable. I was determined not to belong, not to fit in, because I was Australia, and Mum ought to be Australian too. The tug of her roots, the blurring of her role from wife and mother to sister and aunt, angered me."
On the eve of her mother's wake, Grace Tay flies to Singapore to join her father and brother and her mother's family. Here she explores her family history, looking for the answers to her mother's death. This beautiful and moving novel steps between Singapore, Malaysia and Australia, evoking the life, the traditions and tastes of a forceful Chinese family as well as the hardship, the cruelty and pain. Written in a fresh, contemporary voice tinged with biting humour, this is a story about resilience, a story about migration, but in many ways it is a story about parents' expectations for their children.
Hsu-Ming Teo was born in Malaysia in 1970 and immigrated with her family to Australia in 1977. She is a research fellow at the Department of Modern History, Macquarie University, and has taught courses on the history of travel and the history of love at Sydney University's Centre for Continuing Education. Her current project is a history of women's romance writing in the twentieth century.
Hse-Ming Teo has been selected as one of the three Commended writers in the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Australian Novelists.