House of Kwa
House of Kwa
Wild Swans meets Educated in this riveting true story spanning four generations 'Revelatory and remarkable' - TRENT DALTON
'Memorable and vivid' - RICHARD GLOVER
'Lands with a thump in your heart' - LISA MILLAR
'Heartbreaking and uplifting' - MEAGHAN WILSON ANASTASIOS
'An heroic saga' - MIKE MUNRO
The dragon circles and swoops ... a tiger running alone in the night ...
Mimi Kwa ignored the letter for days. When she finally opened it, the news was so shocking her hair turned grey. Why would a father sue his own daughter?
The collision was over the estate of Mimi's beloved Aunt Theresa, but its seed had been sown long ago. In an attempt to understand how it had come to this, Mimi unspools her rich family history in House of Kwa.
One of a wealthy silk merchant's 32 children, Mimi's father, Francis, was just a little boy when the Kwa family became caught up in the brutal and devastating Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during World War II. Years later, he was sent to study in Australia by his now independent and successful older sister Theresa. There he met and married Mimi's mother, a nineteen-year-old with an undiagnosed, chronic mental illness. Soon after, 'tiger' Mimi arrived, and her struggle with the past - and the dragon - began ...
Riveting, colourful and often darkly humorous, House of Kwa is an epic family drama spanning four generations, and an unforgettable story about how one woman finds the courage to stand up for her freedom and independence, squaring off against the ghosts of the past and finally putting them to rest. Throughout, her inspiration is Francis's late older sister, the jet-setting, free-spirited Aunt Theresa, whose extraordinary life is a beacon of hope in the darkness.
PRAISE FOR HOUSE OF KWA
'House of Kwa enchants and enthrals like the best kind of sweeping, dynastic fiction, but it rattles the bones and breaks the heart with the pure facts of Mimi Kwa's extraordinary story. Revelatory and remarkable storytelling.' Trent Dalton
'An astonishing true tale that leaps across centuries and cultures to land with a thump in your heart.' Lisa Millar
'A startling tale of the past, its terrible grip on the present, and the battle to set yourself free. Full of scenes that hover between tragedy and farce, House of Kwa is one of the most compelling stories you'll read this year. Memorable and vividly told, this is a book for anybody forced to survive their own parents.' Richard Glover
'From the back streets of China to war-torn Hong Kong to suburban Australia, this is an heroic saga that reveals just some of the stories behind the multi-cultural nation we are today.' Mike Munro AO
'This is a charming and compelling story, an insight into a deeply traditional Chinese family in times when China was undergoing internally and externally induced upheaval.' South China Morning Post
'A rich and riveting read which heralds a new chapter in Kwa's life as a writer. The spirited tiger, full of life and driven to achieve, has many stories to tell yet.' The Weekend Australian
'House of Kwa answers the question of how one should write about one's family with generosity and love - to read it is to experience Kwa's wonder at the strength and resilience of her family, as well as the intimacy of her relationships with them. Traversing the boundaries of a traditional memoir, House of Kwa is the biography of a family that explores the way our lives are shaped by the past we can and cannot remember. Kill Your Darlings
'A rare work of non-fiction which balances page turning prose with lyrical depth. Do yourself and everyone you know a favour and dive in!' Megan Rogers
An utterly captivating, gripping and inspirational tale of one woman's triumph over adversity. In this extraordinary multi-generational memoir, Kwa fearlessly grapples with questions of love, loyalty, and the power of the human spirit. Intimate and revelatory, House of Kwa is the most heart-breaking and uplifting book I have read in years and announces the arrival of an exciting writer. Meaghan Wilson Anastasios
'If you're a fan of the book Educated by Tara Westover, as I am, and most readers I know are, then you have to read this.' Joan McKenzie, Joan's Picks, Whitcoulls
'Mimi's narrative about their family life is heart-breaking, hilarious, and often unbelievable.' Magic talk FM
'An exotic journey that takes readers through the contributions Chinese immigrants have made to multicultural Australia.' ABC Nightlife
'Kwa is an engaging storyteller.' Asian Review of Books
'Extraordinary - I couldn't put it down. Wonderfully written, this intriguing family story reads like a page-turning novel. The journey of the Kwa dynasty and its legacy is told in such rich, colourful detail, you feel like you are there. I loved it. Sue Smethurst
'I laughed, I grieved, I was intrigued. It took enormous strength to write this story of trauma, abuse, mental health, dislocation, racism and reinvention. Above all it is a story of love and kindness. It will resonate with so many people.' Kirsty Manning
Order online and we’ll ship when available (14 May 2024)
- St Kilda
- State Library
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