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Alison Wong on finding home in literature

March 7, 2012

“I really struggle to think that I can identify with, I guess because my background is a bit more unusual in NZ. I didn’t find it in NZ literature. Any mention of Chinese in the old days was generally stereotypical and caricature, and there was no way that anyone could identify with it as being anything at all to do with my family background, my relatives, my grandparents or my great-great grandparents. Certainly I identified with the NZ landscape and those sorts of things. …And also reading Chinese literature from overseas also didn’t quite work for me either because there it’s so often influenced by a different geography from here and my background was so much a mix of NZ and wider NZ cultures and a sort of diluted Chinese culture. ….I have a great difficulty finding home in literature and any sense of identity.”[1]

(Note that this was a recorded panel discussion, so the slightly oral flow is because of that!)


[1] Alison Wong 23 Emily Perkins with Kate De Goldi, Alison Wong and Glenn Colquhoun () ‘Writers in conversation’ English in Aotearoa 21-28 [need to clarify this issue!]

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