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Larry Wong

8 June 2012 | Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

Larry Wong, past president of the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia, discusses his recent memoir Dim Sum Stories: A Chinatown Childhood (2011), growing up in Vancouver’s Chinatown in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as his father and mother, race and culture, and more, with Joseph Planta.

Dim Sum Stories: A Chinatown Childhood by Larry Wong (2011).

Click to buy this book from the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia: Dim Sum Stories

Text of introduction by Joseph Planta:

I am Planta: On the Line, in Vancouver at TheCommentary.ca.

A marvelous memoir that’s been a really heartfelt, delightful read is Dim Sum Stories: A Chinatown Childhood. In it, the author Larry Wong discusses his youth in Vancouver’s Chinatown. It’s a fascinating story about being the youngest child of a Chinese migrant who comes to Canada, or Gold Mountain as the Chinese considered it as, to make a fortune and raise a family. Wong was born in Vancouver in 1938, and gives great insight in this book about what the city looked like, what Chinatown was like, and how it was growing up with siblings that physically looked Chinese, but who were essentially Canadian. It’s a great story if you’re into Vancouver history. As well, it’s captivating reading about Larry’s dad, starting a clothing business, losing a wife, and raising their children alone. Mr. Wong joins me now, and I’ll ask him about what compelled him to write this book, and what he learned about himself as he reconstructed his life through these sketches from his past. Larry Wong retired in 1994 after a career in the federal government, and has since contributed to many local organisations involving various local heritage and historical societies, a number of organisations in the Chinese Canadian community, as well as the Chinese Canadian Military Museum. He is a founding director and former president of the Chinese Canadian Historical Society of British Columbia. They and UBC’s Initiative for Student Teaching and Research in Chinese Canadian Studies published this book as part of the Gold Mountain Series. It’s one of three books out so far, part of this series that brings to light the ignored and untold stories of the Chinese migrant experience in this part of the world. Larry Wong writes the ‘Ask Larry’ blog at www.cchsbc.ca. You can buy this book, as I did, off of that website. [The book is also available at the People’s Co-Op Bookstore, Hager Books, and the UBC Bookstore.] Please welcome to the Planta: On the Line program, Larry Wong; Mr. Wong, good morning.