The Thorn of Lion City

The Thorn of Lion City

A Memoir

Book - 2007
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Perseus Publishing
Lucy Lum was the third of seven children, born in Singapore in 1933 into a Chinese immigrant family ruled with an iron hand by Popo, her fearsome and superstitious grandmother. Popo is a firm believer in the old ways, in stomach-churning herbalist remedies, in the dubious fortune-telling of mystics, and in mischievous little girls like Lucy knowing their place. She is forever dispensing her own wicked brand of justice, much to the despair of her adopted family.

This is Singapore in the 1940s, a former British colony now living under the specter of the invading Japanese?the hungry worms crawling down from the north, as Lucy knows them?and fear floods the streets. Lucy's father, a kind-hearted and talented linguist, finds himself being used by the occupiers as a translator, and brings back terrifying stories of his merciless employers, which he confides to his daughter under the heavy teak table they use as a make-shift air raid shelter in the bedroom.

With a fresh and powerful voice, The Thorn of Lion City breaks the long silence of the Singaporean Chinese. Heartbreaking and ultimately triumphant, it speaks of the softly-spoken, redemptive love between a father and daughter.


This evocative memoir of a little girl's upbringing in an immigrant Chinese family in Singapore in the 1940s illuminates life during the Japanese occupation and the powerful relationship between a father and daughter


Blackwell North Amer
Lucy Lum was the third of seven children, born in Singapore in 1933 into a Chinese immigrant family ruled with an iron hand by Popo, her fearsome and superstitious grandmother. Popo is a firm believer in the old ways, in stomach-churning herbalist remedies, in the dubious fortune-telling of mystics, and in mischievous little girls, like Lucy, knowing their place. She is forever dispensing her own wicked brand of justice, much to the despair of her adopted family.
This is Singapore in the 1940s, a former British colony now living under the specter of the invading Japanese - the hungry worms crawling down from the north, as Lucy knows them and fear floods the streets. Lucy's father, a kindhearted and talented linguist, finds himself being used by the occupiers as a translator, and brings back terrifying stories of his merciless employers, which he confides to his daughter under the heavy teak table they use as a make-shift air raid shelter in the bedroom.
The Thorn of Lion City breaks the long silence of the Singaporean Chinese. It speaks of wartime occupation, a little girl's upbringing in a repressive Chinese family, and the softly-spoken, redemptive love between a father and daughter.

Publisher: New York : PublicAffairs, c2007
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9781586484361
1586484362
Characteristics: 231 p. : ports. ; 22 cm

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