The Bukowski Agency - The Jade Peony

See all author's titles

238 pages hardcover
Finished books available

RIGHTS SOLD

US: Other Press, Feb 2007
Canada: Douglas & MacIntyre
Australia & New Zealand: Penguin
World English Audio: Audible
China (mainland): Nankai University Press of Tianjin
France: Editions XYZ
Germany: Ullstein
Netherlands: De Vliegende Hollander

ABOUT WAYSON CHOY

Wayson Choy (Photo: John Beebe)
(Photo: Robert Mills)

[Download a full biography]

Wayson Choy
April 20, 1939 – April 28, 2019

Born and raised in Vancouver, Wayson Choy was Professor Emeritus at Humber College in Toronto, where he taught for forty years. During that time he was also active with Cahoots multicultural theatre company. In 1995 his first novel, The Jade Peony, based on the much-anthologized short story of the same name that he first wrote as a student in Carol Shields' creative writing class at the University of British Columbia, spent six months on The Globe and Mail’s national bestseller list, won the Trillium Book Award (shared with Margaret Atwood) for the best book by an Ontario author, and won the City of Vancouver Book Award. It was also an American Library Association Notable Book of the Year. It has never been out of print, and well over 100,000 copies have been sold. The Literary Review of Canada declared The Jade Peony one of the one hundred most important books in Canadian history.

In 1999 Choy's first memoir, Paper Shadows, was a finalist for the Governor General's Award, the Charles Taylor Prize, and the Drainie-Taylor Biography Prize, and was the winner of the Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction. All That Matters, a companion novel to The Jade Peony, won the Trillium Book Award in 2004 and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize. In 2006 Choy was inducted into the Order of Canada. In 2009 he received the Harbourfront Festival Prize for "a substantial contribution to the world of books and writing." In 2009 he released to wide acclaim Not Yet: A Memoir of Living and Almost Dying. He also received the 2015 George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Jade Peony

a novel by Wayson Choy

CHINATOWN, VANCOUVER, OF THE EARLY 1940s PROVIDES THE BACKDROP FOR THIS FRESH, UPLIFTING NOVEL, TOLD THROUGH THE REMINISCENCES OF THE THREE YOUNG CHILDREN OF AN IMMIGRANT CHINESE FAMILY

• WINNER OF THE 1995 TRILLIUM PRIZE
• WINNER OF THE 1995 CITY OF VANCOUVER BOOK AWARD
• NAMED AS ONE OF THE 100 MOST IMPORTANT BOOKS IN CANADIAN HISTORY
• AN AMERICAN LIBRARY ASSOCIATION NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR


The Jade Peony Canadian cover
Chinatown, Vancouver, in the late 1930s and '40s is the setting for this poignant novel told through the vivid, intense reminiscences of three children of an immigrant family. They each experience a very different childhood as they encounter the complexities of birth and death, love and hate, kinship and otherness. Mingling with the realities of Canada and the horror of war are the magic, ghost, paper uncles and family secrets of Poh-Poh, or Grandmother, the heart and pillar of the family.

Wayson Choy's Chinatown is a community of unforgettable individuals who are "neither this not that," neither entirely Canadian nor entirely Chinese. But with each other's help, they survive hardship and heartbreak with grit and humour.


PRAISE FOR THE JADE PEONY

“An exquisite novel … the craftsmanship is glorious.”  — THE GLOBE AND MAIL

“One of the finest works of fiction yet to break the silence that surrounds so many…immigrant communities.”  — MACLEANS MAGAZINE

“In China, [Choy] tells us, a figure called the 'dark storyteller' reveals 'hidden things not seen in the glare of daylight.' Working in a new country and a new context, Wayson Choy has deftly continued that tradition…a fine debut novel.”  — THE NEW YORK TIMES

“A true and touching insight into a largely unrecorded wartime world. It's human and moving without being sentimental…. A genuine contribution to history as well as to fiction.”  — MARGARET DRABBLE

“A book that is richly peopled with eccentric and complex characters … calls to mind David Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars, with the conflicts of loyalty and love and the poisoned ethnic hatred.”  — ST. LOUIS POST DISPATCH

“Lyrical and moving.”  — BOOKS IN CANADA

The Jade Peony is a sweet and funny novel and accomplishes so much of what we expect in good fiction. Certainly, the novel delights us with beautifully written prose, but it does more than that, too. It renders a complex and complete human world, which, by the end of 200-odd pages, we have learned to love.”  — BOSTON BOOK REVIEW

“Insightful, wise and touching.”  — CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR


 

The Jade Peony coverThe Jade Peony - Quebec cover

Back to top