The LRC Presents…

Found in Translation

Denise Chong on the immigrant experience in small-town Canada

You’re invited to an evening of public conversation with Ottawa-based author Denise Chong, on her return from a promotional tour for the first Chinese-language edition of The Concubine’s Children.

Published to acclaim in China in 2013, this was also the book that established Chong’s reputation here as an author two decades ago: it tells the 140-year story of her family’s journey from a southern Chinese village to British Columbia, and eventually back again. Called “beautiful, haunting and wise” by the New York Times Book Review, the personal history has become a modern Canadian classic.

This trip also coincided with the publication of Chong’s latest book, Lives of the Family, chronicling Chinese settlement in and around Ottawa. While often separated from Canadian society (and faraway family) by discrimination, she explains, many were also cut off from their homeland by the upheaval of the Japanese invasion and then the communist revolution – the harsh costs of which Chong explored in Egg on Mao, about the CCP’s post-Tiananmen crackdown on political dissent.

Join her on November 4th for a deeply researched discussion on the immigrant experience in Canada, the perspective it brings to China’s rapidly changing society and how stories travel in our increasingly globalized world.


This event is available free to LRC subscribers or to all those who sign-up for our special event subscription offer of $49 for one year of the LRC. Otherwise tickets are $10 for the general public or $5 for students with a valid ID. Tickets can be purchased or reserved by clicking here.


DENISE CHONG is the author of the family memoir The Concubine’s Children; The Girl in the Picture, a story of the napalm girl from the Vietnam War; and Egg on Mao, a portrayal of human rights in China. She lives with her family in Ottawa.

Kamal Al-Solaylee, an associate professor and undergraduate program director at the School of Journalism at Ryerson University, was previously a theatre critic at The Globe and Mail. He has written features and reviews for numerous publications, including the Toronto Star, National Post, The Walrus, Literary Review of Canada, Xtra!, Quill & Quire and Toronto Life. Al-Solaylee holds a Ph.D. in English Literature from the University of Nottingham and has taught at the University of Waterloo and York University.  He’s the editor of Tonight at the Tarragon: A Critic’s Anthology (2011) and co-editor (with Alex Boyd) of Best Canadian Essays 2010. His first book, Intolerable: A Memoir of Extremes, was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the U.S.-based Lambda Literary Awards in the Gay Memoir/Biography category and won the 2013 Toronto Book Award. He lives in Toronto.


In Partnership With

  • Gardiner Museum
  • Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada