In 1973, when Wenguang Huang was eight, his grandmother became obsessed with her own death. Fearing cremation, she appealed to her family to promise to bury her after she'd died. This was in Xi'an, a city in central China, at a time when a national ban on all traditional Chinese practices, including burials, was strictly enforced. But his grandmother was persistent, and two years later, Huang's father built her a coffin.
Over the next 15 years, the whole family was consumed with planning Grandma's burial, a regular source of friction and contention, with the constant risk of being caught by the authorities. Years later, Huang came to understand how much the coffin had influenced his upbringing and shaped the lives of everyone in the family.
"[U]nveils a story that is new and refreshing and adds a different perspective into the canon of immigrant literature." (The Chicago Sun-Times)
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- Ray Stewart
Very good look into Moa's Communist China
The story is extremely personable. Love all the stories and the time the author took to describe even the little things.
Wing-mama and/or the author. The grandmother kills me. Her story is extremely interesting, but I love how all of the stories come together under the son's bio.
The time when the grandmother decides to become Muslim so she doesn't have to be cremated (but ends up wearing a mask because she can't stand the smell of lamb).
Listen to this book again, and again, and again.
The narrator is really, really good. I think it's the combination of his nice, easy-going, everyday speech and the fascinating storyline that makes this one of my favorites.
- Amazon Customer