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Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale by Belle…
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Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale (edition 2010)

by Belle Yang (Author)

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1272094,816 (3.72)17
Member:EDHSLC
Title:Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale
Authors:Belle Yang (Author)
Info:W. W. Norton & Company (2010), Edition: 1, 256 pages
Collections:Fiction, Your library
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Forget Sorrow: An Ancestral Tale by Belle Yang

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» See also 17 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Excellent graphic memoir. ( )
  Sullywriter | Apr 3, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
When Belle Yang leaves college to escape an abusive boyfriend, she finds herself back at home with her traditionalist Chinese-American parents and all the passive-aggressive guilt behavior that comes with. Yang escapes to China to try to find herself and, again, ends up back at home. Now she recounts her father's life-story as we see him growing up in war torn China with 3 other brothers and a meditative father.
I'll be honest, I enjoyed Yang's illustrations. But... that's about it. The story sort of feels all over the place. I understand that she is transcribing the story as her father gives it to her, and her illustrations of this are engaging and distinctive. However, I think the mark of a good author who is penning a memoir is knowing how to take all of what is given and put it in some semblance of order for the reader. I have a hard time keeping up with where we are going in the story and when in the story we are. I would have bumped my rating another star if there was a more cohesive timeline. I would have bumped it one more if we had heard more about the abusive boyfriend. I mean, really, that's what everyone wanted to hear about anyway. ( )
  TZacek | Jun 18, 2012 |
Moving home after fleeing an abusive boyfriend, Belle Yang decides to capture the story of her family as told by her father.

I am grateful that Yang didn't use the names of people, but "First Uncle, Second Aunt, etc." which made keeping track of characters much easier. Although in black and white, the people have distinct characteristics that similarly help to differentiate individuals.

But, the story has too many breaks to Yang's current situation which pulls the reader out of the story. ( )
  jasonm031572 | Feb 6, 2012 |
Having just finished Wild Swans, I thought this graphic novel/memoir would be a good complement. It is also a 20th century Chinese family story that ends up with the protagonist emigrating, this time not to the UK but to the US. In contrast to Wild Swans, apart from the external misery of 20th century Chinese history, there is a large internal misery caused by sibling rivalry and unhappy extended families. This petty and mean infighting over resources is a clear advocate for nuclear families. One beneficial side effect of the Chinese one-child policy is to dismantle the Confucian sibling hierarchy.

While the author's father's life in China is well-developed, the time he spent in Taiwan, Japan and the US is only given cursory treatment. Given the troubles the father survived in China, I found the meek response to the stalker issue in the US surprising. The tough laws in the US should have cut those abuses short effectively. As it is, the symmetry of a family terrorized by kin or near-kin in China and the US does not point to forgetting sorrow. ( )
  jcbrunner | Jul 30, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
(The link is to a reprint at Red Room)

Coming afresh to graphic novels from making illustrated books for adults and children, Yang writes and draws the Chinese soul, capturing its phraseologies and philosophies. Her varied brushstrokes, from bold to dry, tap into a long tradition of ‘simplicity' in Chinese art and notably the acute observations of everday life by master cartoonist Feng Zikai (1898-1975).
 
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To doctors Allen B Radner and Dawn Mudge, for saving my life.
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I was born in 1960 on Taiwan. . .
. . . the island of my father's exile.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 039306834X, Hardcover)

Celebrated artist and writer Belle Yang makes a stunning debut as a graphic memoirist with this story of crisis and survival.

When Belle Yang was forced to take refuge in her parents’ home after an abusive boyfriend began stalking her, her father entertained her with stories of old China. The history she’d ignored while growing up became a source of comfort and inspiration, and narrowed the gap separating her—an independent, Chinese-American woman—from her Old World Chinese parents.

In Forget Sorrow, Yang makes her debut into the graphic form with the story of her father’s family, reunited under the House of Yang in Manchuria during the Second World War and struggling—both together and individually—to weather poverty, famine, and, later, Communist oppression. The parallels between Belle Yang’s journey of self-discovery and the lives and choices of her grandfather, his brothers, and their father (the Patriarch) speak powerfully of the conflicts between generations—and of possibilities for reconciliation.

Forget Sorrow demonstrates the power of storytelling and remembrance, as Belle—in telling this story—finds the strength to honor both her father and herself.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:08 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

"When Belle Yang was forced to take refuge in her parents' home after an abusive boyfriend began stalking her, her father entertained her with stories of old China. The history she'd ignored while growing up became a source of comfort and inspiration, and narrowed the gap separating her--an independent, Chinese-American woman--from her Old World Chinese parents. In Forget Sorrow, Yang makes her debut into the graphic form with the story of her father's family, reunited under the House of Yang in Manchuria during the Second World War and struggling--both together and individually--to weather poverty, famine, and, later, Communist oppression. The parallels between Belle Yang's journey of self-discovery and the lives and choices of her grandfather, his brothers, and their father (the Patriarch) speak powerfully of the conflicts between generations--and of possibilities for reconciliation" -- from publisher's web site.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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W.W. Norton

2 editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 039306834X, 0393339963

 

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