Cher Chizsey launched her book ‘Ken’s Quest’ on November 22nd at Readings Book Store in Ackland Street St Kilda.
A beautiful evening opened as friends and family gathered around Cher for this important night. The book, the characters, and Cher herself have had an interesting evolvement. The result is a cross-cultural darkly funny story that will introduce you to the layers of complexity that immigration to this country can create.
It’s not often that you can read a story about the challenges of émigrés that are written with warts and all. It is even less likely that as the reader you will be enticed to become involved in the course of the story. But this is the joy and the value in Cher’s book, for she is neither indulging our sensibilities as readers nor is she keeping us out of the discussion.
As you read you may find that your feelings are aroused, you also may take up a point of view and shift your attitude.
This is such a valuable experience to have and it makes the book a great vehicle for group discussion. Get hold of a copy, read it and pass it on to friends. This is the way we can help to make a difference.
Written by Del Nightingale
*** Cher will be interviewed on ABC radio, Life Matters with Ellen Fanning,
Monday 5th December at 9.40am ***
Del Nightingale, SWWVic Vice President, with Cher
Musicians Alinta Chidzey, Remco Keijzer and James Sherlock entertain
Friends and family gather to congratulate Cher
Review of Ken’s Quest by Dr Alison Broinowsk
Dr Alison Broinowski has studied and written about Asian Australian fiction since the 1980s.
Cher Chidzey, Ken’s Quest, Melbourne: Threekookaburras, 2016
The earliest account we have by a Chinese man about his time in Australia is dated 1860. It was followed by many more, in fact and fiction, recording the gold-seekers’ hopes and disillusionments. With individual variations, the pattern is so consistent that it almost seems they wrote what was traditionally expected of Chinese far from home. A boom-time for Chinese diaspora novels of a different kind came when the ‘Tiananmen students’, who stayed on in Australia, tried with varying success to make new lives here. Yet more than a century after the gold rushes, many still wrote as their predecessors had about their struggle to survive, make money, and bring honour to their families and to China. Several expressed distaste if not contempt for Australians, and resentment that their superiority as Chinese ‘intellectuals’ was not acknowledged.