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Edward Y. C. Lee

Edward Y. C. Lee was born in Montreal and now resides in Toronto. He is a former arbitrator and lawyer. Lee’s fiction and creative non-fiction has been published in national newspapers and literary magazines. His audio story “Tiger Balm, Batman Comics and Barbecue Pork” aired on CBC Outfront in October 2004.


The Laundryman’s Boy: A Novel

Toronto: HarperAvenue, 2024.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Fall 1913, St. Catharines, Ontario. Thirteen-year-old Hoi Wing Woo, the son of a scholar, is forced to give up his dreams of an education when he is sent to work in a Chinese laundry in Canada.

Hoi Wing is immediately thrust into relentless, mind-numbing toil, washing clothes by hand for sixteen hours a day, six days a week. Isolated and friendless, he falls into despair.

When he meets Heather, an Irish scullery maid who shares his love of books, Hoi Wing’s life immediately brightens. Together, they escape the drudgery of their work by reading novels in a secret hideout. As their friendship grows, they defy the restrictions of their indentured servitude and embark on a plan to better their lives.

But Hoi Wing’s dreams will not go unchallenged. Jonathan Braddock, a wealthy and influential entrepreneur who heads the Asiatic Exclusion League, has decided to run for mayor. If Braddock is elected, Hoi Wing will be sent back to China.


Publisher HarperAvenue an imprint of HarperCollins Canada