Komenar Publishing
"My Half of the Sky"

"My Half of the Sky" Trade Paperback

My Half of the Sky

By Jana McBurney-Lin

Jana McBurney-Lin's debut novel My Half of the Sky introduces Li Hui, a young Chinese woman of marriageable age who has recently graduated from the university. Li Hui struggles with finding love and acting with honor. Guidance and advice come from all corners of her world as well as different and conflicting generational, historical and cultural values. Each generation of modern China wants something different for and from her, particularly her parents, who mourn the lack of a son while attempting to marry her off to their greatest advantage. In fact most everyone has a selfish investment in what Li Hui will do and whom she might marry.

Further testing Li Hui's commitments, hopes and concerns are the words of Mao. He has said that "women hold up half the sky," meaning that women make an equal contribution to China. But how does Li Hui manifest the promise in these words when she is given so little room in which to maneuver? Can she be a modern Chinese woman? Can she also embrace romantic new notions of romance and marriage? Or will the dictates of her parents and the weighty responsibility she feels for them drive her to lose this opportunity?

Does this sound like Jane Austen writing about the dilemmas facing young women in China today? Are some of the characters Dickensian? You bet. This original and insightful work is in the best traditions of classic novels that explore people caught in the crucible of change in complex cultures. And the rewards are rich for the reader, including intriguing insights into folk tales and conventional wisdom of a culture of which few of us have an intimate and timely knowledge. It's one thing to see a national news broadcast feature on modern China and its thriving young generation that looks so much to the United States for standards. It's quite another to eavesdrop on a character alive in the very moments of the globalization of China.

Category: Literary Fiction

ISBN-13: 978-0-9772081-1-1
ISBN-10: 0-9772081-1-7
Price: $24.95 (U.S.A.)
Publication Date: July 2006
533 pages
Trade Paperback
ISBN-13: 978-0-9772081-7-3
ISBN-10: 0-9772081-7-6
Price: $17.95 (U.S.A.)
Publication Date: July 2008
482 pages


National Best Books 2007 Awards
Finalist (Fiction & Literature: General Fiction)

2007 DIY Book Festival Awards
Honorable Mention (Fiction)

2007 Benjamin Franklin Awards
Finalist (Popular Fiction)

2007 Best New Writing: The Eric Hoffer Award (formerly the Writers’ Notes Award)
Notable (General Fiction)

2006 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards
Honorable Mention (Literary Fiction)

BookSense Pick, August 2006

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