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All Our Ordinary Stories - A Multigenerational Family Odyssey

All Our Ordinary Stories

A Multigenerational Family Odyssey

By Teresa Wong
Categories: BIPOC, Asian Literature, Graphic Novels & Non-Fiction, Women's Literature
Paperback : 9781551529493, 240 pages, 2024
Expected to ship: 2024-09-24
Expected to ship: 2024-09-24


From the author of Dear Scarlet comes a graphic memoir about the obstacles one daughter faces as she attempts to connect with her immigrant parents

Beginning with her mother's stroke in 2014, Teresa Wong takes us on a moving journey through time and place to locate the beginnings of the disconnection she feels from her parents. Through a series of stories - some epic, like her mother and father's daring escapes from communes during China's Cultural Revolution, and some banal, like her quitting Chinese school to watch Saturday morning cartoons - Wong carefully examines the cultural, historical, language, and personality barriers to intimacy in her family, seeking answers to the questions "Where did I come from?" and "Where are we going?" At the same time, she discovers how storytelling can bridge distances and help make sense of a life.

A book for children of immigrants trying to honour their parents' pasts while also making a different kind of future for themselves, All Our Ordinary Stories is poignant in its understated yet nuanced depictions of complicated family dynamics. Wong's memoir is a heartfelt exploration of identity and inheritance, as well as a testament to the transformative power of stories both told and untold.


I love this book with my whole heart. Every line, written and drawn, sings. In it, we find grief and tenderness, astonishing escapes, and endless afterlives. All Our Ordinary Stories will pass from hand to hand; it is a treasure, a compass, and a hope. -Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing

All Our Ordinary Stories is a true gift of intergenerational storytelling, historical nuance, and most importantly, emotional resonance. From Mao's China to Hong Kong to a quiet food court in suburban Calgary, Teresa follows the trail of her parents and ancestors and learns that there are no easy conversations that can fix the damage of oppression, displacement, and trauma. But All Our Ordinary Storiessimultaneously shows us that we can always bear witness and lovingly carry what is passed down. An extraordinary book. -Jen Sookfong Lee, author of Superfan

Teresa Wong's growing deftness of the comic form is on full display in All Our Ordinary Stories, an exciting follow-up to her debut graphic memoir, Dear Scarlet. A meditation on bridging distances - of time, place, language, and understanding - this book is an important addition to the Canadian comics canon. -Jillian Tamaki, co-creator of Roaming

Through her simple, thoughtful drawings and sensitive storytelling, Teresa Wong details the intense love and pervasive worry of being a child of immigrants. This story is a deeply empathetic one about what it means to belong to a family. It's riveting and profound. -Liana Finck, author of Let There Be Light

Teresa Wong's All Our Ordinary Stories is anything but: her masterfully paced graphic memoir takes us through the tiny heartbreaks and beats that make up our families and ourselves, beautifully articulating what is often difficult to express. Reading this book is a project in expanding our capacity to care for one another. I loved it; you will too. -Kristen Radtke, author of Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness

All Our Ordinary Stories bravely and completely captures the second-generation experience - the grief, frustration, and impossibility of trying to reassemble what has been concealed, lost, or erased. At its core, this is a poignant tribute to immigrant mothers, to quiet love, to finding comfort in simple gestures, like a fleeting moment of holding hands. Teresa Wong's intricate sophomore graphic memoir is more than worth the wait! -Vivek Shraya, author of People Change and Death Threat

I was truly moved by Teresa Wong's insights into the invisible life of families, her ability to capture inexpressible histories and emotional undercurrents. But what will stay with me is the powerful, transformative story of Wong's development as an artist. This wise book, both beautiful in form and content, is a master class in surviving through creativity. -Kyo Maclear, author of Unearthing