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In this jaw-dropping, darkly comedic memoir, a young woman comes of age in a dysfunctional Asian family whose members blamed their woes on ghosts and demons when in fact they should have been on anti-psychotic meds. Lindsay Wong grew up with a paranoid schizophrenic grandmother and a mother who was deeply afraid of the "woo-woo"--Chinese ghosts who come to visit in times of personal turmoil. From a young age, she witnessed the woo-woo's sinister effects; at the age of six, she found herself living in the food court of her suburban mall, which her mother saw as a safe haven because they could hide there from dead people, and on a camping trip, her mother tried to light Lindsay's foot on fire to rid her of the woo-woo. The eccentricities take a dark turn, however, when her aunt, suffering from a psychotic breakdown, holds the city of Vancouver hostage for eight hours when she threatens to jump off a bridge. And when Lindsay herself starts to experience symptoms of the woo-woo herself, she wonders whether she will suffer the same fate as her family. On one hand a witty and touching memoir about the Asian immigrant experience, and on the other a harrowing and honest depiction of the vagaries of mental illness, The Woo-Woo is a gut-wrenching and beguiling manual for surviving family, and oneself.
About the Author
Lindsay Wong holds a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and a MFA in Literary Non-Fiction from Columbia University in New York. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in No Tokens, The Fiddlehead, Ricepaper Magazine, and Apogee Journal. The recipient of many awards and fellowships (including The Studios of Key West, Caldera Arts and the Historic Joy Kogawa House), she has been writer-in-residence at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City, NE