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Elizabeth Quan

Elizabeth Quan is a watercolorist, poet and writer.  She holds a B.A. in East Asian studies from the University of Toronto.  For many years she was also a puppeteer.  Elizabeth Quan lives in Toronto.

Drama (Puppet plays)

The Immortal Poet of the Milo: The Story Behind the Dragon Boat Festival, and Other Chinese Puppet Plays

Toronto: Sounds Canadian, 2001.

Beyond the Moongate book cover

Non-fiction (Memoir–Juvenile literature)

Beyond the Moongate: True Stories of 1920s China

Toronto: Tundra Books, 2013.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Moongates dotted the landscape of old China. Ancient Chinese architects had sculpted stone piled on sculpted stone to form round doorways, with the spiritual symbolism of the full moon. To step through one of these doorways was to step into a world of peace and happiness….

And so it was in the 1920s that the Lee King family – father, mother, and six children, aged ten months to seven years – traveled from their home in Canada, across the Pacific Ocean, to inland China. There, they had the opportunity to step beyond the moongate into a land not yet touched by modern warfare or political unrest.

The story of the moongate, tells of the two “golden” years the family spent with Grandmother in a remote village in the south, which hadn’t changed for centuries.

Non-fiction (Memoir–Juvenile literature)

Once Upon a Full Moon

Toronto: Tundra Books, 2007.

Publisher’s Synopsis (from its website)

Elizabeth Quan’s father had made a success in the New World, but he longed for his home in China. So in the early 1920’s, he and his family set out on an arduous trip to the far side of the world. By train, ship, ferry, cart, and on foot, Elizabeth, her parents, and her brothers and sisters set off from Toronto to a village in China to visit the grandmother they have never met.

In the course of her family’s travels she learns that home is a state of mind and that the moon can find us, no matter where we are.The rhythms of travel and the longing for connection are conveyed in lyrical text and lovely watercolors in a truly memorable book.

Non-fiction (Memoir)

Quan: My Live, My Art: A Collection of Autobiographical Essays and Poetry

Toronto: Sounds Canadian, 1999.


Publisher Tundra Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House Canada