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Ling Zhang

Ling Zhang was born in Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province, China but grew up in the small town Wenzhou. She graduated from Fudan University in Shanghai with a bachelor degree in English and moved to Canada in 1986. Zhang earned an M.A. in English from the University of Calgary, and another M.A. in Communication Disorders at the University of Cincinnati. She now lives and writes in Toronto. Zhang has published at least eight novels and numerous short story collections in Chinese. Gold Mountain Blues is the first of her novels translated into English. Her novella about the 1976 Tangshan Earthquake was made into a block-buster Chinese film Aftershock in 2010.


Gold Mountain Blues

Translation by Nicky Harman.
Toronto: Viking Canada, 2011.
PS8599 .H36 G65 2011

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Gold Mountain Blues is a rich saga chronicling the lives of five generations of a Chinese family from Guangdong Province, which are transformed by the promise of a better life in Gold Mountain, the Chinese name for Canada’s majestic West Coast.


A Single Swallow

Translated by Shelly Bryant.
Seattle: Amazon Crossing, 2020.

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

On the day of the historic 1945 Jewel Voice Broadcast—in which Emperor Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender to the Allied forces, bringing an end to World War II—three men, flush with jubilation, made a pact. After their deaths, each year on the anniversary of the broadcast, their souls would return to the Chinese village of their younger days. It’s where they had fought—and survived—a war that shook the world and changed their own lives in unimaginable ways. Now, seventy years later, the pledge is being fulfilled by American missionary Pastor Billy, brash gunner’s mate Ian Ferguson, and local soldier Liu Zhaohu.

All that’s missing is Ah Yan—also known as Swallow—the girl each man loved, each in his own profound way.

As they unravel their personal stories of the war, and of the woman who touched them so deeply during that unforgiving time, the story of Ah Yan’s life begins to take shape, woven into view by their memories. A woman who had suffered unspeakable atrocities, and yet found the grace and dignity to survive, she’d been the one to bring them together. And it is her spark of humanity, still burning brightly, that gives these ghosts of the past the courage to look back on everything they endured and remember the woman they lost.

Anthology (Short stories)

Toward the North: Stories by Chinese Canadian Writers

Edited by Hua Laura Wu, Xueqing Xu, and Corinne Bieman Davies.
Toronto: Inanna Publications and Education, 2018.

PS8235.C55 T69 2018

Zhang, Ling. “The Abandoned Cat.” Translated by Zoë S. Roy, 32-47.

Zhang, Ling. “Toward the North.” Translated by Zoë S. Roy, 212-281.


Publisher Penguin Random House Canada