Book Review: For Today I Am A Boy

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A Chinese born Canadian author, Kim Fu now lives in Seattle.

Her writing is very personal in that it tells of the tremendous efforts immigrants put into passing as natives of their adopted country. In her novel For Today I Am A Boy, the father strives to be Canadian.

No Chinese food for his family. They must eat like the neighbours. In a very Chinese way he has also despaired of not having a son to continue his line. Until his wife (after three daughters) produces a son.

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This boy is a bit of a disappointment as he acts very girly, but he has the necessary parts so a boy he is. Peter might appear to be a boy but he feels that his body is only half heartedly masculine. The thoughts we share with him, make us doubt that what he refers to as the thing is really even a penis.

Peter’s life as a kid is entwined with his family. As an adult it is very alone. The family fractures. Times change but how he has been brought up make it difficult for him to connect with the younger generation who don’t live with his traditional obligations as part of their being. Can Peter find a way to be true to who he is? Is there a path back to the embrace of sisterhood with his sisters?

 Beautifully written with a deep seem of longing for a truer life, this is a novel that transported me into the world of a fellow human with a quite different life path. It is so well written that it feels autobiographical, but looking at Kim’s brief public bio, this does not seem to be the case.

 Article | Andrew Rumbles 

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