What a very different and interesting book! We often take cultural differences for granted but this compelling story brings to life the challenges of straddling dual cultures in both a humerous and tragic way.
Jian Qiu describes so well the problems of trying to leave behind his traditional belief systems and adopt a new life in a different country. In confronting these problems he adeptly uses his experience of both cultures to find his true self and to become stronger and more self-aware.
The book is well written, very easy to read, and yet thought provoking. It manages to blend the language and idioms of two distinctly different cultures in a entertaining story that you will find hard to put down.
Never again will I assume that an overseas student, migrant or asylum seeker understands the nuances of our Australian culture, and I will now certainly appreciate more the way in which the culture we take for granted can impact on those who have chosen our country to make their life.
Jian Qiu uses a lot of anecdotes of his experiences which are memorable and, at tmes, very funny. His visit to a gynaecologist is hilarious ... but you will need to read the book to share this and other stories.
A thoroughly recommended read.