In the tradition of Amy Tan, an hilarious and bittersweet memoir of growing up different in a very eccentric but traditional Chinese-Tasmanian family.
Warning: Not to be read by convent girls not wearing their gloves.
'Ching Chong Chinaman' girls taunted Helene Chung in her Catholic school playground. An Australian-born Chinese growing up in 1950s Hobart, Helene not only dealt with being different from her blonde-haired, blue-eyed classmates but suffered the shame of having divorced parents. And she kept a shocking secret - her mother, Miss Henry, was a nude model, who also lived in sin with a foreign devil and drove a red MG.
Surviving the embarrassment of childhood, Helene discovered the thrill of the theatre, fell into journalism and travelled the world. She became the first non-white reporter on Australian TV and the first female posted abroad by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Ching Chong China Girl is filled with honesty, humour, love and loss, and gives insight into life that traverses cultures East and West.
Helene Chung, a former ABC Beijing correspondent, is an honorary research fellow at Monash Asia Institute, Melbourne, and the author of Shouting from China, Gentle John My Love My Loss and Lazy Man in China.