Review by Justine Brosnan
A fantastic memoir about a Perth girl from Asian ancestry growing up in Scarborough with an eccentric father always on the lookout for a ‘get rich quick’ scheme and a mother with a serious undiagnosed mental illness. The first few chapters about her father’s huge family (32 brothers and sisters) in Hong Kong and the Japanese Occupation is very interesting and provides the backdrop to understanding the House of Kwa.
Mimi Kwa writes clearly and with humour about her childhood which was very lonely and confusing as well as being subjected to a lot of racism at school and in the community. She escaped this by drinking and drug taking and sneaking out of home from the incredibly young age of 10 to hang out at Scarborough beach with her motley crew of friends who were consumed with their own childhood struggles.
After reading her book draft, one of her friends asked her “Mim, how on earth did you turn out so normal?” A very good question.
'Revelatory and remarkable' - TRENT DALTON'
Memorable and vivid' - RICHARD GLOVER
'Lands with a thump in your heart' - LISA MILLAR
'Heartbreaking and uplifting' - MEAGHAN WILSON ANASTASIOS
'An heroic saga' - MIKE MUNRO