Michelle Jana Chan – Author and Vanity Fair Travel Editor, to give a short reading from her book Song and a question and answer session for the Writers Initiative
To Sign up for this session on the 17th Oct at 1 pm (BST time) please click the Eventbrite link here or the Meetup link here
Michelle Jana Chan is an award-winning journalist and travel editor of Vanity Fair in the UK, where she presents the magazine’s digital Future Series. Formerly, Michelle was a BBC TV presenter, news producer at CNN International, and reporter at Newsweek. She was a Morehead-Cain scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. @michellejchan
A sweeping historical epic following one boy’s long journey from rags to riches, by the award-winning journalist and travel editor of Vanity Fair.
“A wonderfully lush and atmospheric odyssey of survival against all odds.” —Bernardine Evaristo, author of Girl, Woman, Other
Song is just a boy when he sets out, in the year 1870, from Lishui village in China. Brimming with courage and ambition, he leaves behind his family, hoping he’ll make his fortune and return home. Chasing tales of sugarcane, rubber, and gold, Song embarks upon a perilous voyage across the oceans to the British colony of Guiana, but once there he discovers riches are not so easy to come by and he is forced into laboring as an indentured plantation worker.
This is only the beginning of Song’s remarkable life, but as he finds himself between places and between peoples, and increasingly aware that the circumstances of birth carry more weight than accomplishments or good deeds, Song fears he may live as an outsider forever.
This beautifully written and evocative story spans nearly half a century and half the globe, and though it is set in another century, Song’s story of emigration and the quest for an opportunity to improve his life is timeless.
Chan’s own family lineage lays the path for the tale of Song, as she is descended from indentured Chinese immigrants who immigrated to British Guiana in the mid-1800s. Her father grew up there but left in the 1960s—searching, in turn, for a better life in England.