Here’s the goods on Carrianne Leung, author of The Wondrous Woo. And in no significant order.
She has a PhD in Sociology and Equity Studies from OISE/The University of Toronto. She currently lives in Toronto where she writes fiction, is a co-editor of Critical Inquiries: A Reader in Studies of Canada, works as an educator at the Ontario College of Art and Design University and is a mother. To top it all off, she is also the co-owner of Multiple Organics, an organic grocery store. As a writer, I don’t fully comprehend where she made had the time to write The Wondrous Woo, but I’m glad she did. It looks fantastic.
It is a young adult novel that tells the story of Miramar Woo, who has moved to Canada with her family and seems like the archetypal Chinese teen: reserved and nice, the obedient sister and daughter. She has a desire for adventure and as she is on the brink of independence and heading off to university, her beloved father (who from what I’ve read sounds like a fantastic character) is killed in an accident. The story spans her transition from suburban Toronto to university in Ottawa, which she makes alone, as her siblings cruise into new found fame that has sailed by her, and as her mother battles with paranoia. As she explores new sides of herself, Miramar discovers the meaning of courage, belonging and family.
The first thing I learned in creative writing 101 is that you won’t reach your reader if your characters aren’t real and alive. In only the first chapter that I was able to read online, I’ve already fallen in love with the character of Miramar’s father. Fiction may not be the only thing listed in Leung’s bio, but I can tell that it’s a realm in which she definitely belongs. This novel takes on dynamic identity issues and delves into the intercultural experience that is so common in today’s globalized society.
It is available online and in stores, and a preview first chapter is also available online. I’m waiting for my copy to arrive (because who doesn’t shop online these days), and will report back with a full review.
Leung is coming to Vancouver on her book tour (you can add celebrity status to the long introductory list) in just a few days! She’ll be at the following Vancouver Public Library branches:
- Renfrew Branch on Monday, March 10th at 7:00 PM
- Fraserview Branch on Tuesday, March 11th at 7:00 PM; and
- Kensington Branch on Wednesday, March 12th at at 7:00 PM
I can’t wait to meet her and to hear about the wondrous journey that brought this addition to the ever expanding genre of Chinese-Canadian literature.