A Family Portrait

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Lin Yang’s debut novel is the pensive, soul-searching journey of protagonist Fan as she unshackles the past of two generations of women to find reconciliation and strength.

When Fan, the restless and loveless young woman, receives the news of her Grandmother’s death, she is forced to return to her home village and confront her family’s past and her childhood.

Unfolding against the contrasting landscapes of socialist China and urban Singapore, the story draws profound parallels between family and water for their nurturing and destructive powers.

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"Shifting deftly between numerous Chinese pasts and the Singaporean present, Yang Lin’s poignantly bitter-sweet tale of one young woman’s flight from, and momentary return to, her family in a small village in Southern China is communicated in a prose simultaneously spare and rich, often poetic, cleverly patterned, surprising. This impressive debut explores, while satisfyingly problematizing, notions of tradition, home, family, women and sexuality in China and Singapore." – Dr Angus Richard Whitehead, Assistant Professor of English Language and Literature, NIE


Lin Yang