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Description - Wuhu Diary by Emily Prager

In 1994 Emily Prager adopted a 7-month-old baby in China. Almost five years later, she goes back with LuLu, now a little American girl, to spend three months in Wuhu, the town where her daughter was born in Anhui Province, Southern China, searching for clues to unlock the mystery of LuLu. Within a week of their arrival, NATO has bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and anti-American feeling is running high; Emily's is the only non-Chinese face on the streets but Lulu, as a native of the town, is sacrosanct. Mother, daughter and townspeople become involved in a relationship of warmth and complexity that stands politics and prejudice on its head. It is Lulu's joy and pride at having found them that people cannot get over. After all, this is the same town that threw her away.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099284161
ISBN-10: 0099284162
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 16mm)
Pages: 256
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 5-Sep-2002
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - Wuhu Diary by Emily Prager

UK Kirkus Review » This is the story of Emily Prager's quest to discover more about her adopted daughter LuLu's past. When, in 1994, Prager first picked up LuLu at the Wuhu orphanage, she knew nothing about the baby's background, save that she had been found outside a police station. This book is set five years later, when Prager returns to China, planning to spend three months in the town. Her plan is complicated by NATO's bombing of the Chinese embassy in Belgrade, and Prager suddenly finds herself stranded in the country as anti-American feeling burgeons all around. The book is not quite as tense or exciting as this might sound, although its events must have been fairly frightening to experience. As with much travel writing, the writing transforms painful or weird events into the safe and comfortable state of narrative. In fact, Wuhu Diary is heart-warming, in a surprisingly powerful and not at all sickly way. Prager's account is detailed and observant, and the picture of her daughter that emerges is particularly charming. Seen through her (adopted) mother's eyes, LuLu comes across as intelligent, energetic and vivacious. This slim book is an amalgam of genres. Prager, a practised journalist and novelist, weaves together a memoir in which she recalls her much disrupted childhood in Taiwan with her reflections on her complex relationship with her daughter and her observations on Chinese culture. On this last, Prager's vision, though decidedly that of an outsider, is also optimistic. Ultimately, it is hard not to care about the mother and daughter's quest, and the experience of following it is both interesting and strangely reassuring. (Kirkus UK)


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Author Biography - Emily Prager

Emily Prager spent 4 years of her own childhood in Taiwan. The author of much praised novels, stories and essays collections, including A Visit from the Footbinder, In the Missionary Position and Roger Fishbite.

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