The Long March Home

By Zoë S. Roy

Literary fiction, Romance | Paperback, eBook


The novel is the story of three generations of women, a grandmother who as a young woman went to China as a Canadian missionary nurse and who falls in love with a Chinese doctor who acts as her interpreter. Shortly after anti-western sentiment sends her home in a hurry, she discovers she is pregnant by him. Attempts by her, and later their daughter, to contact him fail. Her daughter, Meihua, goes to China to look for her father and ends up marrying a Chinese man and teaching art. The cultural revolution sees her sent to prison as a American spy and anti-revolutionary, and her husband confined to a gulag. Their children, still at home, are raised by the family’s illiterate servant, Yao. Yao’s crude manner and resourcefulness partly shield Yezi, Meihua’s daughter, and the novel’s main character, from family tragedy, poverty and political discrimination, negotiating their survival during the revolution that she barely understands. Only after her mother released, does Yezi hear about her foreign grandmother, Agnes, who lives in Boston and has lost contact with the family since Yezi’s birth. Curious about her American ancestry, Yezi, now an adult, decides to join her grandmother in the U.S. Reading her grandmother’s diaries helps Yezi get to know her grandmother as a young Canadian missionary and her life in China with the man who is her grandfather, and who her mother longed to find.


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The novel is the story of three generations of women, a grandmother who as a young woman went to China as a Canadian missionary nurse and who falls in love with a Chinese doctor who acts as her interpreter. Shortly after anti-western sentiment sends her home in a hurry, she discovers she is pregnant by him. Attempts by her, and later their daughter, to contact him fail. Her daughter, Meihua, goes to China to look for her father and ends up marrying a Chinese man and teaching art. The cultural revolution sees her sent to prison as a American spy and anti-revolutionary, and her husband confined to a gulag. Their children, still at home, are raised by the family’s illiterate servant, Yao. Yao’s crude manner and resourcefulness partly shield Yezi, Meihua’s daughter, and the novel’s main charac...


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Born in China, Zoë S. Roy, an avid reader even during the Cultural Revolution, writes literary fiction with a focus on women's cross-cultural experiences. Her publications include a collection of short stories, BUTTERFLY TEARS (2009), and two novels, THE LONG MARCH HOME (2011) and CALLS ACROSS THE PACIFIC (2015), published by Inanna Publications. She holds an M.Ed. in Adult Education from the University of New Brunswick and an M.A. in Atlantic Canada Studies from Saint Mary's University. She lives in Toronto and teaches with the Essential Skills Upgrading program for the Toronto Public School Board.


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Born in China, Zoë S. Roy, an avid reader even during the Cultural Revolution, writes literary fiction with a focus on women's cross-cultural experiences. Her publications include a collection of short stories, BUTTERFLY TEARS (2009), and two novels, THE LONG MARCH HOME (2011) and CALLS ACROSS THE PACIFIC (2015), published by Inanna Publications. She holds an M.Ed. in Adult Education from the Univ...


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