Sunday, December 24, 2006

Yesterday, I finished reading Amy Tan’s novel “Saving Fish From Drowing.” The book tells the story of 12 Americans on vacation in Burma who are hijacked by local tribesmen. The story is narrated by a friend of the 12 travelers, who organized the trip but died suddenly right before they embarked. It’s a fun story, and explains much detail of the human rights violations in Burma. I found it both entertaining and educational, as I really didn’t know anything about Burma before I opened this book up.

I’ve read several of Tan’s books, and in the last year, this is perhaps the 6th novel I’ve read that’s dealt with Chinese-American history and society. I started getting interested in this a couple of years ago when I began to try to research the geneaology and history of my grandfather, a Chinaman who came to the United States in 1921, leaving behind a family in China to start anew in America. My web site is seriously under construction, but you can read more about this here. I even took my mother to China last summer so that she could see the area her father came from. It was an interesting trip, and luckily, we were NOT hijacked as were the travelers in Tan’s novel. Here's a photo of my mom and I in front of our family temple in Shawan:

Oh. My. God. As I was writing this, I sneezed for the first time since my surgery. My eyes are still tearing. Christ! I’m glad that didn’t happen a week ago!

I wonder how many of you (who are not from Down Under) will recognize the song for the day. It’s called “Solid Rock (Sacred Ground)” by the band Goanna. It comes from their 1982 album entitled Spirit Of Place. The sound of the music is decidedly Australian, from its didgeridoo open to its discussion of Aboriginal rights. To be honest, I have no idea how I know this song. I think one of my older sisters must have been playing it, as I neither remember hearing it on the radio or seeing it on MTV. I couldn’t even find the single on iTunes, and I have no idea how much success this band had outside of the States. If you’re interested, check out frontman Shane Howard’s web site. And if you’re curious to see if you remember the song, here’s the video:


Blogger Diane said...

edit - I'm a big fan of Tan too - I'll check out that book. Also, check out Ursula, Under, which reminded me alot of Tan. In that book, a little girl who is Finnish and Chinese falls down an old mine shaft (a la Baby Jessica) and while they are trying to rescue her, the book goes back a thousand years to trace the history on both sides of the family.

10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now I gotta put this book on my reading list. One thing I like to do is ask people what is a really cool book they have read recently. So how about a variation of that question: How about posting the top 5 books (fiction or non fiction) that you have read in the past 2 years?

and.....Merry XMAS!


11:13 AM  
Blogger LA said...

Have you ever read Snow Flower and the Secret Fan? I highly recommend it.

11:25 AM  
Blogger EditThis said...

la - I'll have to put that book on my list. I loved On Gold Mountain by her, though, and plan on blogging about it later.

Amir - Good idea, but tough choices. Every book I read is so good, how do you pick the best ones?

12:09 PM  
Blogger sage said...

I've not read that book, but a book that I found interesting about Burma is Pascal Khoo Thew, "From the Land of Green Ghosts: A Burmese Odyssey" It tells his story in the recent trouble there as well as giving some of the country legends,such as green ghost are to be most feared for they died a violent death (and with the troubles there, the country must be filled with them)

I thought I'd written a review on it, but must of read it before blogging

12:53 PM  
Blogger Kings Fan said...

What's all this talk about books and reading? And I applaud you for mentioning a song and band that I've never heard of. If I didn't have such a lame computer at home, I would watch the video. So I'll have to wait until I get back to work...

Enough with all the book talk. Wish I had the patience to read a book from cover to cover and not have it take two years.

5:23 PM  

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