LivesFamily_r4_01(Linotype-Tasse) (1)Lives of the Family: Stories of Fate and Circumstance

by Denise Chong

Now in paperback! To purchase:

“Our critics’ favourite books of 2013 “A masterful storyteller at the peak of her writing career, Vancouver-born Denise Chong has written a worthy historical follow-up to her bestselling 1994 family memoir, The Concubine’s Children… Bravo.” Georgia Strait, Vancouver
“True stories that have the resonance and substance of fiction.” Toronto Star
“Lives of the Family… show[s] people embroiled in the ordinary miracle of living their own lives.” National Post
It is easy to imagine so many of these stories slipping into the stuff-of-novels”  Even when presenting almost overwhelmingly sad stories, Denise Chong presents her material with delicacy – and, often, beauty.”

Author Appearances

Nov. 20, 7:30 pm, Perth: Ottawa International Writers’ Festival, Perth Chapter and the Perth and District Historical Society, Perth Legion, 26 Beckwith St. East, Presentation, reading and conversation with descendent of owner of Harry’s Cafe.

Nov. 28, 1 pm, Scarborough: Agincourt Public Library, 155 Bonis Ave Family Stories Workshop

Jan. 15, 12:30 pm, Ottawa: Chateau Laurier ballroom, Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club, luncheon time speaker

Mar. 4, 7 to 9 pm, Bangkok: Nielson-Hays Library

Mar. 29, 2 pm, Smiths Falls: Station Theatre, 53 Victoria Avenue, sponsored by the Smiths Falls Public Library

May 15-17, Toronto Festival of Literature and the Arts, Munk Centre

May 26, 7 to 8:30 pm, Ottawa Celebrating Asian Heritage Month, Guest speakers: Denise Chong, Bill Joe, James Nguyen, Public Library, Auditorium

June 6, Ottawa Prose in the Park, Parkdale Park, Moderator of panel featuring Vincent Lam, Caroline Vu and David Joiner

July 16, Baysville, On Public Library, 10 am. Denise discusses ‘getting the story’ and the foibles of memory

July 21, 23, 25, Sage Hill Writing, Cedar Lodge, Blackstrap Lake, Sask. 7 pm Faculty readings: Denise Chong, Wayne Grady, Steven Heighton, Alison Pick, Marilyn Simonds, Miriam Toews 

Sept 18, Ottawa, On Hazeldean branch of the Ottawa Library 50 Castlefrank, 2 pm. Meet the author; Denise discusses the joys and perils of research, and “turning knowing into telling”

Mar. 3, Toronto “Literature Matters Series”, University of Toronto, with Denise Chong and Madeleine Thien, Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles Street West, 7:30 pm

Mar. 17, Ottawa, Reading, Part of “Road to Justice” exhibit (Feb.4-Mar.21) at University of Ottawa, Human Rights Research and Education Centre, Fauteux Hall, 57 Louis Pasteur

Apr. 1, Prince George, BC, University of Northern British Columbia Library, 7 pm

Apr. 4, Quesnel, BC, University of Northern British Columbia campus, 6 pm

Apr. 29-May 1, 2016 Gananoque Literary Festival, On


The creation of this website was made possible in part by a grant from Citizenship and Immigration Canada, under its Community Historical Recognition Program (CHRP), to the Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre (381 Kent St., Suite 4004, Ottawa K2P 2A8 (613) 235-4875), a non-profit, non-partisan, community-based organization committed to advancing the social and economic integration and participation of newcomers, immigrants and refugees. The website is one of several CHRP projects showcased on Chinese-Canadian Stories, a website created by the University of British Columbia. 
Copyright © 2012 Ottawa Chinese Community Service Centre and Denise Chong. All rights reserved on photographs and videos and may not be reproduced without permission.

One Response to

  1. Greetings: With great excitement I discovered a link to this page while searching for information regarding the “All Chinese Aces” Hockey team. My father-in law, William E. Quinn played along with his brother “Sonny” George Fong Quinn Junior on this very team. This revelation surfaced when the Joe brothers arrived to pay their respects at “Grampa’s” funeral service. I have been very unsuccessful in my search for the origins of the original three “Quinn” boys who arrived on Canadian soils and separated (Charlie and George Quinn Sr. to Montreal and Peydra to Cuba?) My husband’s Grandfather (George) and caucasian Grandmother (Margaret McBain, shunned from her Glengarry Settler family of Moosecreek Ontario) raised six boys and one daughter and moved from Montreal to Pembroke, settling in Ottawa in the 20’s. They operated the St. James restaurant in Ottawa and all six boys served in the military….I have many newspaper clippings gathered and very many unanswered stories. Alas, my father-in-law was the last surviving member of the family and I just can’t close the many loops of history.

    Dianne Quinn, Prince George B.C.

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