Books by Judy Fong Bates

Judy Fong Bates came to Canada from China as a young child and grew up above Chinese laundries in several small Ontario towns. Her stories have been broadcast on CBC radio and published in Fireweed: A Feminist Quarterly, This Magazine, The Canadian Foru

Released: April 1, 2005

"Deeply satisfying: a lovely sensuality pervades in spite of the harshness of the world Bates portrays so eloquently."
First-novelist Bates (stories: China Dog, 2002) explores the Chinese immigrant experience in Canada in a heartbreaking but muted love story. Read full book review >
CHINA DOG by Judy Fong Bates
Released: Sept. 1, 2002

"Split mostly between laundry and restaurant settings, and attuned to the grittier side, Bates's stories have limited range, but are most affecting in their search for the plain truths of Chinese immigrant life."
Having moved to Canada from China as a child, Bates conveys the immigrant experience in generally straightforward terms in this group of eight tales set in rural Ontario, first published in 1997 in Canada. "My Sister's Love" reveals some of the complexity of that experience when a mother's daughter arrives from a relatively good life in Hong Kong to the lesser life above a Chinese laundry, her stepfather and half-sister in tow. A beauty, she draws the eye of a prosperous, older Chinese businessman, but their relationship brings more scandal than succor. In "Eat Bitter," immigrant ambivalence is the focus, as an unhappy apprentice dreams only of going home to China after five years in his uncle's laundry. But when a letter arrives giving him good reason to escape the cold and racist cruelty, he realizes he's not the only one who dreams of home. The title piece strays from this realistic treatment to consider a family curse, one that causes an old man to commit suicide and his daughter-in-law to seek out a medium in order to find a supernatural solution that will save her husband—but with catastrophic results. Read full book review >