Monday, July 6, 2009

Lucky Girl by Mei-Ling Hopgood, 19/81

Mei-Ling Hopgood was adopted from Taiwan as a baby- this is her memoir of reconnecting with her birth family two decades later. Unlike many adoptees Hopgood never really wanted to know more about her birth family. She happily embraced the culture of the American Midwest, her adoptive parents, and her two brothers. As a young adult Hopgood discovered that her Chinese family had been looking for her. Unsure of what she was getting into, Hopgood dug deeper, and discovered she had a large family in Taiwan- birth parents, sisters, nieces, nephews, and a brother. And so she met her birth family. After an exciting honeymoon period, Hopgood was confronted with a whole host of uncomfortable questions she had never anticipated. Her birth mother's submissiveness, her birth father's clear preference for sons over daughters. Coming to terms with these things is the substance of Hopgood's memoir. A written record of nearly ten years spent working out the complicated relationship with her Chinese family, Hopgood has written an engaging tale. There are many good memoirs concerning adoption and immigration issues. I'm not certain that Hopgood's offers much above and beyond the others, but is certainly a strong choice for those who wish to read such a memoir. Both well-written and compelling.

Mei-Ling Hopgood, Lucky Girl (Algonquin, 2009) ISBN: 1565126009

Category: Memoirs 2/9, 19/81

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