Skip to content

From the archives

Our Violent National Game

The great hockey debate continues

Pax Atlantica

NATO’s long-lasting relevance

Judy Fong Bates

Judy Fong Bates is the author of The Year of Finding Memory, a memoir of returning to China and uncovering her parents’ past. Her novel, Midnight at the Dragon Café, was chosen as Toronto’s “One Book Community Read” for 2011.

Articles by
Judy Fong Bates

Invisible Canadians

How can you live decades with someone and know nothing about him? January | February 2019
With the exception of The Five Chinese Brothers, every book I read as a young child in small-town Ontario in the late 1950s and early 1960s was filled exclusively with characters who were white. When I was thirteen I encountered a non-white person in Gone with the Wind. I was in my early twenties when I finally met a Chinese person in Canadian literature in…

Trapped in Shenzhen

Folktales from a hyper-modern 21st-century city November 2016
first saw Shenzhen in 2006, gazing through the window of a bus, driving past miles of medium-rise apartments shrouded in a smog of pollution with nary a piece of greenery in sight. It was a place I could not wait to leave. Until 1980, when the Chinese government declared Shenzhen a Special Economic…

Cross-Cultural Encounter

A Chinese-Canadian writer examines a Native school memoir November 2014
I come from a culture where, traditionally, fair skin is prized. As a child, whenever I became deeply tanned from playing outside during the summer in southern Ontario, my parents would tell me that I looked like a Siwashee. I never understood what they meant, but I knew that it was uncomplimentary. It was only in later life that I realized that Siwashee was actually a mispronunciation of the word…

Culture-Crossed Lovers

Canadian boy meets Chinese girl. Puzzlement ensues. June 2011
I arrived in Canada from China in 1955 as a five-year-old. Fifty years later when I returned to China for the first time, it was as someone with no memory of her homeland; it was as someone raised in the West. However, because I am Chinese and lived with Chinese parents, I had some innate understanding of Chinese culture—nothing that I am able to explain in concrete…