KWAI-YUN LI PUBLICATIONS
Deoli Camp: An Oral History of Chinese Indians From 1962 to 1966
MA Thesis, Ontario Institute for Studies of Education, University of Toronto.
"A Woman's Story"
in Becoming Feminists: An Anthology of How We Became Feminists
Resources for Feminist Research and Centre for Women's Studies in Education, OISE, University of Toronto.
"The Handwriting Expert"
in Henry Chow
Chosen by Ricepaper magazine and the Asian Canadian Writers' Collective, these stories by emerging and established writers such as Evelyn Lau and Governor General Award winner Paul Yee reflect the experiences and sentiments of North-American Asian teenagers.
Fiction: Tradewind Books.
The Last Dragon Dance
"'Kwai-Yun Li’s debut collection . . . about being Chinese in 1950s India, proves her a natural story-teller’—Tehelka
On a hot summer day in 1942, sitting outside her shoe shop in Bentinck Street, a mother fixes her six-year-old daughter’s marriage to her neighbour’s son. A widow converts a part of her house to a temple so that she can support her family with the donations. During a border skirmish in the north-east, Chinese mothers prepare packages for life in concentration camps giving special instructions to the children, lest they get separated. A gentle bookseller and his daughter disappear in the middle of the night when they are deported to China for his political sympathies. And in the delightful story ‘Uncle Worry’, Uncle Chien worries when his daughter Pi Moi forgets to call him: he worries that she and her husband, Mohamed, have had a falling out. He worries when Pi Moi does call, for she must be fighting with Mohamed, otherwise why would she call? From crumbling shops in Chinatown to decaying tanneries in Tangra, Kwai-Yun Li’s The Last Dragon Dance: Chinatown Stories, exposes us to the life of the little-known Chinese community in Calcutta.
While the arrival of the Chinese in India abounds in legends, the mass
exodus of this dwindling community is not as romantic: political and economic
upheavals have forced them to abandon their home. Even though theirs is
so much a story of assimilation and syncretism—growing up in 1950s’
Calcutta one never paid much attention to which customs were Indian or
Chinese—the Chinese have often felt the brunt of their foreignness.
The rift between Mao and Chiang Kai Shek led to the deportment and imprisonment
of hundreds of Maoist sympathizers. This collection gives voice to such
concerns without being overtly sentimental or sensational; Li never fails
to see the humour in the idiosyncrasies of her community. These inspired-from-life
stories wonderfully capture the mood of the time with unassuming grace."
---From the Penguin
Books India website
Fiction. New Delhi: Penguin Books.
Available online at the Penguin Books India website.
Available for sale under the title The Last Dragon Dance in the Indian Subcontinent and Singapore only.
This same collection is published by TSAR Publications as The Palm Leaf Fan.
The Palm Leaf Fan
From crumbling shops in Chinatown
to decaying tanneries in Tangra, this collection of short stories expose
us to the sights, sounds, and smells of a marginalized community in post-colonial
On the reading lists for three classes at U of T at Mississauga, York University and Jadavpur University, Kolkata.
Fiction. Toronto: TSAR Publications.
Read an excerpt from "The Fish Pond."
All TSAR publications are available online.
In the Indian Subcontinent and Singapore this same collection is published by Penguin Books under the title: The Last Dragon Dance.
Kiss Beside the Monkey Bars
A collection by four new writers show what makes Toronto the city it has
Jennifer Lee, produces wry, low-key tales about living across cultural boundaries, first in southern Ontario, then during a year in China, her parents' homeland.
Kwai Li, takes us to the tiny marginalized community of Chinese in Tangra, a suburb of post-colonial Calcutta, where as a six-year-old she stood watch for the cops as her mother turned a tannery by day into a moonshine operation by night.
Rosa Veltri, the daughter of Italian-born parents in Toronto's west
end, writes sparkling and heartbreaking stories of immigrants who struggle
for dignity in a hellish suburban fruit market.
Sultan Ameerli et al.
In The Totally Unknown Writers’ Festival 2005: A Celebration of Arnie
Arnie Achtman…writer, teacher, actor, broadcaster,
performance artist, friend, son, brother, lover, musician, mentor, loner…the
matron of routine, the comic, stabilizer, neutralizer, the easiest to
talk to–the hardest to really piss off.
Arnie Achtman et al.
in Will You Still Love Me If I Shave My Head?
Creative Non-fiction: Guy Allen, ed.,
Out of print
Broadcast on CBC Radio.