Paper Daughter: A Memoir

by M. Elaine Mar

Hardcover, 1999




New York : HarperCollins, 1999.


When she was five years old, M. Elaine Mar and mother emigrated from Hong Kong to Denver to join her father in a community more Chinese than American, more hungry than hopeful. While working with her family in the kitchen of a Chinese restaurant and living in the basement of her aunt's house, Mar quickly masters English and begins to excel in school. But as her home and school life - Chinese tradition and American independence - become two increasingly disparate worlds, Mar tries desperately to navigate between them. From surviving racist harassment in the schoolyard to trying to flip her straight hair like Farrah Fawcett, from hiding her parents' heritage to arriving alone at Harvard University, Mar's story is at once an unforgettable personal journey and an unflinching, brutal look at the realities of the American Dream.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member autumnesf
This book is written by a woman that moved to the states from China when she was about 4/5 years old. It was a very easy and fast read. What you learn from this book is mostly how she was treated growing up in the American schools and how she tried to fit it. Alot of her experiences wouldn't relate to raising our adopted children as she had to live with her Chinese parents and their old ideas while trying to fit in our society. Her parents never even learned to speak English in all the years they lived here. It was a good book, but it doesn't relate much to our adoptions beyond the teasing and not fitting in well in the school system - but I think we are all pretty well prepared for some version of this already.… (more)
LibraryThing member mbmackay
Another "Joy Luck Club" tale of the Asian migrant experience - but not as well written.
Read in Samoa Feb 2003



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