Crossing Cultures: Belle Yang, A Story of Immigration

Writer and painter Belle Yang 楊萱 has published several books for children. A touring exhibition of her paintings opened recently at the de Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University, 30 Sept to 4 Dec 2016.

If you can’t make it to the exhibition, you can see the paintings on Belle Yang’s website.

There’s an interesting review article by Rachael Myrow, “Crossing Cultures: The Compelling Tug of Chinese Memories on Belle Yang” (published online, KQED Arts, 14 October 2016).

The article includes comments from Gene Luen Yang, including this one: “Chinese history always feels new to me … We are so familiar with European history, that the history of any other country, including the country our ancestors came from feels foreign and now Yang’s work is bringing something to me that ought to be familiar with me but isn’t.”

And here are a couple more comments from Belle Yang’s website:

“Belle Yang is an American writer who writes in English and thinks in Chinese.  Her writing feels Chinese…. It is as though we, the readers of English, can now miraculously read Chinese.”   — Amy Tan

“In Belle Yang we have our Isaac Bashevis Singer and Marc Chagall – all in one bright new talent.”  — Maxine Hong Kingston

Belle Yang’s books are listed on her website, along with reviews, comments and links. Some are listed as for children, some as for adults. They include:

Children’s Books

  • My Name is Hannah – an Immigrant’s Story
  • Always Come Home to Me
  • Foo, the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond
  • A Nest in Springtime
  • A Summertime Rainbow
  • Hurry Home, Hedgehog!
  • Squirrel Round and Round
  • Chili-Chili-Chin-Chin

Adult non-fiction

  • Baba: Return to China upon my Father’s Shoulders
  • The Oddysey of a Manchurian
  • Forget Sorrow

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