A2/Ypsilanti Reads 2008: The Eighth Promise
This is one of three titles under consideration for this year's Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Reads, which will focus on China and America: Bridging Two Worlds.
In the best tradition of The Color of Water comes a beautifully written evocative memoir of a relationship between a mother and son – and the Chinese immigrant experience.
In The Eighth Promise: An American Son's Tribute to His Toisanese Mother, author William Poy Lee gives us a rare view of the Chinese-American experience from a mother-son perspective. His moving and complex stories unfold simultaneously in his mother’s war torn childhood of China of the 1930s and ‘40s and then amidst the housing projects of San Francisco Chinatown and the counterculture of North Beach of the 1960s and ‘70s as told in two voices—the author’s own and that of his mother. The mother’s perspective provides a sense of tradition and culture as the author becomes completely American and then realizes that his simple Toisan farmer mother has been his greatest wisdom teacher.
It is a stunning tale of violent community turmoil including a murder implicating a close family member, injustice, fortitude, survival, and ultimately redemption. Already, this exquisitely wrought memoir is garnering rave notices.
William Poy Lee graduated with a Bachelors of Architecture, emphasis on urban design and planning from the University of California in Berkeley and completed his juris doctor degree from Hastings College of the Law, University of California. He has been a licensed California attorney since 1979 and has enjoyed a career as an international banking attorney with Bank of America and as an advertising co-principal serving Fortune 100 corporations. He now lives in Berkeley, California. The Eighth Promise is his first book.
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