Baba: A Return to China Upon My Father's Shoulders

Belle Yang, Author, Amy Tan, Introduction by
Belle Yang, Author, Amy Tan, Introduction by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $27.95 (211p) ISBN 978-0-15-100063-0
Reviewed on: 10/03/1994
Release date: 10/01/1994
Born in Taiwan, writer/painter Yang, who emigrated to the U.S. with her parents in 1962 at age 10, wondrously evokes-in words and paintings-the Manchuria of the 1930s and '40s, where her father, Joseph Yang (``Baba''), grew up during the Japanese invasion and brutal occupation. Twenty-three of her vibrant, lush watercolors accompany an appealing folktale-like narrative, which conjures a traditional world of supernatural beliefs, household deities, burdensome Confucian propriety, joyful festivals and a family rent by jealousies and quibbling. Filtered through the author's crystalline prose steeped in family legends and her father's detailed memories of China, the harsh repression of the Japanese puppet state of Manchukuo, the methodical Soviet looting after Manchukuo's collapse in 1945 and the ensuing civil war, chaos and starvation seem like violations of cosmic harmony. Author tour. (Oct.)