A delightful student has recommended Brushstrokes in Time to her Rector at Yale NUS (Singapore) suggesting I talk to the NUS. (See the extract below) Hasn’t she described the reaction to Brushstrokes in Time well? The sketch was made at the Oxford Literary Festival marquee. A young mixed ancestry American woman bought a copy of my novel and explained that she had asked her mother to talk about her life in China. Weimin's sketch of OX Lit festival marquee event
Her mother had refused to talk saying, “I want to put it behind me.” The young woman said to me, “I do understand but it makes me feel excluded as if I don’t really know my mother”. An extract from the letter:
“I met Sylvia in Oxford in 2016, and she told me about the process of interviewing these artists, and her publishing process. When we met, she also marvelled at how it was 50th anniversary of the Cultural Revolution, yet no one was talking about it. Had it become a forgotten event, or one that its victims and participants refused to speak about, thus leaving the next generation ignorant and apathetic? When the book was released, Sylvia received feedback from first-generation Chinese immigrant children that the novel had helped them understand why their parents had never talked to them about their time in China, and why they were unwilling to go back to China despite keeping many traditions and customs. The book thus unintentionally also ended up serving as a cathartic release and vessel of reconciliation between these children (who are around my age) and their parents (who had been through the Cultural Revolution).”