The Girl Who Wouldn't Sing by Kit Yuen Quan

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The Girl Who Wouldn't Sing by Kit Yuen Quan In the memoir "The Girl Who Wouldn't Sing", Kit Yuen Quan describes her life experiences growing up as a Chinese girl in America. In her attempt to try and find her place in society, Quan intermingles with several groups of people. Her interactions with a feminist group, two young Cambodian girls, and finally her own father allow her to explore her Chinese background and how that affects her interactions with people. In order to find her own "voice" in a society that is not really hers, Kit Yuen Quan explored relationships with people of different lifestyles. She does so in order to be able to recognize how she wants to express herself, and through which culture, American or Chinese, if not both, she wants to do so. When she ran away from home, Quan "sought refuge in the women's community working part-time at a feminist bookstore"(Quan 214). Yet, because of her Chinese background and difficulty in understanding language, Kit found she wasn't as accepted as she had hoped she would be. The fact that she could not understand many of the issues discussed by the feminists she was surrounded by was very frustrating for Kit. This frustration acted as a vehicle for her to gain a desire to be more proficient in the "feminist rhetoric"(Quan 214). Although her desire to be part of the community was strong, she continuously encountered problems because of her age, nationality, and lack of a "formal American education". The frustration that Kit encountered made her feel even more misunderstood, and she sought her voice through other communities and experiences. Kit's first failed attempt to become a part of a community was because of her inability to "properly" expr... ... middle of paper ... ...nguage in a way that probably would not have happened if she hadn't left home. The fact that Kit had the experiences she did, with the Cambodian girls, the feminists, and her father, has allowed her to see life in a new light. Through her language and culture Kit not only finds her voice, but finds her inner self as well. She states in the last line if the memoir, "As long as there are bakeries in Chinatown and as long as I have 85 cents, I know I have a way back to myself"(Quan 220). Through her culture, language, and reunion with her family, Kit has found her ability to communicate, as well as the comfort that she has searched for all her life. Bibliography: Quan, Kit Yuen. Making Face, Making Soul; Creative and Critical Perspectives by Feminists of Color: "The Girl who Wouldn't Sing". San Francisco, CA: Aunt Lute Books. 1990.

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