hollowbamboo_William_Ping
2024 Longlist

Hollow Bamboo: A Novel

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ABOUT
THE BOOK

The hilarious and heart-breaking story of two William Pings in Newfoundland—the lost millennial and the grandfather he knows nothing about. Based on a true story, Hollow Bamboo recounts with humour and sympathy the often-brutal struggles, and occasional successes, faced by some of the first Chinese immigrants in Newfoundland. Drawing on elements of magical realism, auto fiction and satire, as well as deep historical research, Hollow Bamboo is a fresh and original portrayal of our past and our present, and the debut of an extraordinary new author.

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR William
Ping

WILLIAM PING is a Chinese-Canadian writer from Newfoundland. After completing his Master of Arts at Memorial University in 2020, he was named a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies. He received the 2022 Cox & Palmer Creative Writing Award as well as the 2021 Landfall Trust. His debut novel, Hollow Bamboo, which he wrote for his master’s degree, received the Award for Thesis Excellence from the English department. His work has previously been featured on the CBC, in Riddle Fence, and in the anthologies Us, Now and Hard Ticket. Photo Credit: Violet Ryan-Ping

WILLIAM PING is a Chinese-Canadian writer from Newfoundland. After completing his Master of Arts at Memorial University in 2020, he was named a Fellow of the School of Graduate Studies. He received the 2022 Cox & Palmer Creative Writing Award as well as the 2021 Landfall Trust. His debut novel, Hollow Bamboo, which he wrote for his master’s degree, received the Award for Thesis Excellence from the English department. His work has previously been featured on the CBC, in Riddle Fence, and in the anthologies Us, Now and Hard Ticket. Photo Credit: Violet Ryan-Ping

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NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

The vibrant cover of this debut novel hints at a story that is spirited in more ways than one. Author Ping mixes autobiography, historically informed storytelling, and magical realism in this sensitive, yet hilarious, work of literary fiction. The novel is informed by real events and experiences of Chinese immigrants to Newfoundland in the 1930s, including those of the author’s own grandfather, William Seto Ping. While a sobering reminder of the history of anti-Asian racism (which resurged during the Covid-19 pandemic) the story resonates with hope, resilience and humour. It is filled with memorable characters like sisters Ethel, Vile and Marge, the Reverend Riley, fellow newcomer Shaowei, and the ghost, Mo, who transports the contemporary William Ping to his grandfather William Ping’s time. Newfoundland gets a lot of positive press, and this novel helps balance overly romantic and simplistic representations a culture and place that welcomes all visitors and newcomers with open arms. The writing is beautiful; the story entertaining and thought provoking. Ping has crafted a complex work that is especially relevant in an age of emboldened xenophobia and anti-immigrant public discourse. This perceptive novel will draw readers in and carry them along: informing and transforming some; inspiring and entertaining all.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Date published
21/02/2023
Country
Canada
Original Language
English
Author
Publisher
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

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