East Meets West themes in literature: Half and Half

I work in a library…
I am a board member for Asian Canadian Writers' Workshop
I have always been attracted to books with Asian North American themes or by Asian North American authors.

Here is what caught my attention in the past month:

HALF AND HALF
by Lensey Namioka

A children's novel about a young girl growing up in Seattle WA with
both Scottish and Chinese parentage. Her Scottish-Canadian grandparents
travel from Vancouver BC, with their Scottish Highland Dancing troupe
for the Seattle Folklife Festival. Her Chinese grandmother wants her to
be a nice Chinese Girl. Her red-haired brother wants nothing to do with
the kilt that his grandfather has given him – he just wants to do his
martial arts demo at Folk-life. How to walk the line between cultural
identity, family obligations and following your heart's desires.

I LOVED THIS BOOK! I think I will invite Lensey Namioka to the next Gung Haggis Fat Choy dinner.

WHITE TIGRESS
by Jade Lee

A romance paperback set in Shanghai 1897. An English Woman sails to the
Orient to meet her fiance, but is drugged, kidnapped and sold to a
brothel. She is next sold to a Chinese man, who seeks to balance his
overactive Yang, by developing her Yin. A peek into the secret
practices of Chinese Sexual Arts, and the Tao of Love. The dynamic
tension arises from culture clashes, a perception that the other race
is barbaric, and that the secret to Tantic and Taoist love practices is
to not waste the Yang seed.

This is the first time I have ever heard of the secret practices of
Dragon/Tigress practices, or of seeking Imortality by Yin and Yang
blending.

From the author's bio:

Children of mixed races have their
own set of rules. As the daughter of a Shanghai native and a staunch
Indiana Hoosier, Jade Lee struggled to find her own identity somewhere
between America and China. Her search took her to Regency England,
where the formality of culture hid a secret sensuality that fascinated
her. But Devil's Bargain was just the beginning –  that same
search adds a mystical element in her Tigress series. In those books,
Jade delves into the hidden sensuality of the Dragon/Tigress sect in
pre-revolutionary China.


At home, her husband and two
daughters try to ignore her stacks of Zen sexual texts. Instead, they
brag about her award-winning humour pseudonym, Katheine Greyle.

This book was very interesting… Now I have a way to blend my Chinese
“Tao of Love” books with the Scottish Highlander Romance paperbacks…
And I thought Mr. Willougby in Diana Galbadon's “Outlander” series was
the only Chinese character in romance fiction. Silly me.

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