No, Really, Where Are You From?
Who am I in cultural terms? And why should I care? For some, these may seem like irrelevant questions, but for many others, how they negotiate their status as members of a visible minority in a “white” environment has had a huge impact on their lives. Negotiating that status presents a significant challenge, a challenge to which the answers are neither black-and-white nor predictable or consistent. The stories in my book explore these answers by telling the stories of real people who are, or have been, caught in a culture tug-of-war. Each of their stories is unique. And it’s clear that these individuals do, indeed, care―deeply.
No, Really, Where Are You From? Is a 250-page non-fiction book, which includes an Appendix and 6 photographs of the interviewees. My book is similar in format to Po Bronson’s What Should I Do With My Life?, and Dianne Meili’s Those Who Know. I was inspired to write this book because our local and global demographic landscape is changing at a dramatic rate, with people gaining multiple cultural backgrounds as they move from one place to another and from one culture to another. My hope is that this book will encourage readers to question their own experiences of culture, both past and present, and to explore how those experiences have shaped them and their lives. This is an area that is neither heavily researched nor spoken about, and I hope this book will be the first step in that direction.
In No, Really, Where Are You From? Nancy Ng tells the insightful true stories of how eight Chinese individuals, young and old and from various economic backgrounds, negotiated being a visible minority in mainstream Canada. With insight and inspiration, Ng writes of these remarkable people’s experiences with their Chinese culture from childhood to adulthood.
No, Really, Where Are You From? not only discusses the importance of global migration and its impact on ethnic identity; it also tells the stories of those who have first-hand experience of the issue. Ethnic identity retention and loss is never black and white… it is constantly reshaping and redefining itself.