China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICA -

non-Chi­nese par­ents.

Davies him­self is con­nected to his own Chi­nese her­itage in a unique way, learn­ing about the cul­ture and his­tory more from a writer’s per­spec­tive.

“A lot of the writ­ing I do is driven by dis­cov­ery and try­ing to write into spa­ces we don’t know. What is my re­la­tion­ship with Chi­nese-ness? How may I learn more about it?” Davies asked.

In his re­search for Davies trav­eled to China to gain a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of Chi­nese cul­ture. What Davies ul­ti­mately learned is that the Chi­nese com­mu­nity, con­nec­tions to Chi­nese her­itage, par­tic­u­larly in the face of stereo­types or anti-Chi­nese sen­ti­ments.

In their own jour­neys, Davies’ char­ac­ters (both im­mi­grant and na­tive) work on com­ing to terms with be­ing both Chi­nese and Amer­i­can and how to ef­fec­tively rep­re­sent their hy­brid iden­ti­ties.

In terms of Davies’ own Chi­nese-ness and bira­cial-ness, he too finds a sense of re­solve af­ter years of grap­pling.

“I re­mem­ber grow­ing up as half Welsh and half Chi­nese, and I felt there was no one else like me. I think there’s a bit of lone­li­ness in my unique­ness.

“I’m not au­then­tic be­cause I’m alone; there’s no­body else like me,” Davies said. “I think as a child, my unique­ness felt like a bur­den. Now it feels like a gift. It feels oddly free­ing.”

Sophia Wu in Wash­ing­ton con­trib­uted to this story.


Peter Ho Davies says that dur­ing World War II, “the Chi­nese moved from be­ing the other to be­com­ing al­lies. There was a change in Amer­i­can per­cep­tions of China and the Chi­nese.” Au­thor Peter Ho Davies

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