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Midnight at the Dragon Cafe

Bates, Judy Fong (Book - 2005 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Midnight at the Dragon Cafe

Item Details

Judy Fong Bates's fresh and engaging first novel is the story of Su-Jen Chou, a Chinese girl growing up the only daughter of an unhappy and isolated immigrant family in a small Ontario town in the 1950s. Through Su-Jen's eyes we see the hard life behind the scenes at the Dragon Cafe, the local diner her family runs. Her half-brother Lee-Kung smolders under the responsibilities he must carry as the dutiful Chinese son. Her mother, beautiful but bitter, lays her hopes and dreams on Su-Jen's shoulders, until she turns to find solace in the most forbidden of places, while Su-Jen's elderly father strives to hek fuh, swallow bitterness, and save face at all costs.
Authors: Bates, Judy Fong, 1949-
Title: Midnight at the Dragon Cafe
Publisher: New York, N.Y. :, Counterpoint,, c2005
Characteristics: 317 p. ;,21 cm
Statement of Responsibility: Judy Fong Bates
Notes: Originally published: Toronto : McClelland & Stewart, 2004
ISBN: 9781582431895
Branch Call Number: FICTION BATES
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Report This Dec 05, 2012
  • dprodrig rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A really good look at the realities of being an immigrant, in this case Chinese, and how they struggle to survive once they arrive. Book did a great job describing life in a small town, the realities of struggling to keep a business going and the importance of saving face & pride in Chinese culture. Although, the level of deception and tragedy was soap-opera-like in it's twists and turns. Worth reading.

Report This Nov 11, 2011
  • marijancad rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very interesting.

A really interesting book about the immigrant experience in small-town Ontario.

Report This Apr 26, 2011
  • doeraymee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I was surprised this was rated For Teens. The topics covered were very adult. Violent suicide, etc

Report This Apr 10, 2011
  • Read_at_MarkhamPL rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Interesting story of the Chinese immigrant experience in Canada during the 1960s. The burden of saving face, keeping family secrets and obeying your elders are familiar themes for those who have read Chinese fiction. It wasn't as riveting as expected, considering it was chosen as the one book to read for Toronto this year. An interesting and fast read nonetheless.

Report This Mar 10, 2011
  • christinegon rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This book was a great read! It was easy to read and I really looked forward to reading it. It gave good insight into the Chinese culture and some of the difficulties faced in coming to a new culture and what it was like to feel like an outsider. I have already put holds on for the author's other books.

Selected by Toronto Public Library for the 2011 Keep Toronto Reading One Book program. "Set in a small Ontario town in the 1960s, Fong Bates’ debut novel tells the story of a young Chinese girl and her family – the owners of the only Chinese restaurant in town. "Written in spare, intimate prose, Midnight at the Dragon Café is a vivid portrait of a childhood divided by two cultures and touched by unfulfilled longings and unspoken secrets."

Report This Jan 09, 2011
  • Iluv2read rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

Interesting story of a Chinese family in small town Ontario in the 1960s from a young Chinese girl's perspective.

Report This Dec 14, 2010
  • bg2 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Engrossing tale of tragedies and survival. I couldn't put it down.


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Report This Apr 10, 2011
  • Christina_tee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Christina_tee thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over


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In this memoir-like novel set in the 1950s and '60s, Su-Jen Chou grows up in a small town in Ontario where her father owns the Chinese restaurant.


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