WHERE WATERS MEET by Zhang Ling
There was rarely a time when Phoenix Yuan-Whyller’s mother, Rain, didn’t live with her. Even when Phoenix got married, Rain, who followed her from China to Toronto, came to share Phoenix’s life. Now at the age of eighty-three, Rain’s unexpected death ushers in a heartrending separation.
Struggling with the loss, Phoenix comes across her mother’s suitcase—a memory box Rain had brought from home. Inside, Phoenix finds two old photographs and a decorative bottle holding a crystallized powder. Her auntie Mei tells her these missing pieces of her mother’s early life can only be explained when they meet, and so, clutching her mother’s ashes, Phoenix boards a plane for China. What at first seems like a daughter’s quest to uncover a mother’s secrets becomes a startling journey of self-discovery.
Told across decades and continents, Zhang Ling’s exquisite novel is a tale of extraordinary courage and survival. It illuminates the resilience of humanity, the brutalities of life, the secrets we keep and those we share, and the driving forces it takes to survive.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Zhang Ling is the award-winning author of nine novels and numerous collections of novellas and short stories, including A Single Swallow, translated by Shelly Bryant; Gold Mountain Blues; and Aftershock, which was adapted into China’s first IMAX movie with unprecedented box-office success. Born in China, she moved to Canada in 1986 and, in the mid-1990s, began to write and publish fiction in Chinese while working as a clinical audiologist. Since then, she has won the Chinese Media Literature Award for Author of the Year, the Grand Prize of Overseas Chinese Literary Award, and China Times’s Open Book Award. Where Waters Meet is her first novel written in English, and she received support for this work from both the Canada Council for the Arts and an Ontario Arts Council granT.