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05/06/2018

#BlogTour: The Life of a Banana by PP WonG @Legend_Press #PPWong #TheLifeofaBanana

Published by Legend Press. This new edition was published on 1st June 2018. The Life of a Banana was shortlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction and is available now. You can get your copy here.

Xing Li is what some Chinese people call a banana - yellow on the outside and white on the inside. Although born and raised in London, she never feels like she fits in. When her mother dies, she moves with her older brother to live with venomous Grandma, strange Uncle Ho and Hollywood actress Auntie Mei. Her only friend is Jay - a mixed raced Jamaican boy with a passion for classical music.

Then Xing Li's life takes an even harsher turn: the school bullying escalates and her uncle requests she assist him in an unthinkable favour. Her happy childhood becomes a distant memory as her new life is infiltrated with the harsh reality of being an ethnic minority.


Consumed by secrets, violence and confusing family relations, Xing Li tries to find hope wherever she can. In order to find her own identity, she must first discover what it means to be both Chinese and British.

My Thoughts:

I really love the fact that Legend Press are reissuing some of their catalogue, many of which I missed the first time around. The Life of a Banana is one of those books and I am really glad that I had the opportunity to read it. 

The Life of a Banana is a unique and heart wrenching take on the coming of age story. Xing Li is 12 years old. Born in the UK to Chinese parents. She has a lot to contend with. She lives with her Grandmother, Uncle Ho and Auntie Mei after the death of her mother. She feels that she doesn't fit in. Her Grandmother is mean and Xing Li feels like she doesn't belong. 

The school life of Xing Li is fairing no better, bullying and racism are rife. Xing Li is isolated and on the periphery of all areas of her life. Her story is poignant and moving and as a character was superbly written. Although only young she was accessible and relatable. 

The Life of a Banana is an exploration of what life is like coming from an ethnic minority. A challenging read and it throws everything you thought you knew and understood back up into the air for consideration. 

A deeply moving and satisfying read that I am so glad that I have read as I will remember it and Xing Li for a long time.  



About the Author:
PP Wong was born in London. Her parents, both Chinese and originally from Singapore, moved between London and Asia during her childhood. She experienced prejudice throughout her schooling in the UK. PP Wong worked as an actress for six years, with her first job aged 15 when she was cast as 'Screaming Vietnamese girl' in a James Bond film. Other work includes performing in lead roles at the Soho Theatre in Moonwalking in Chinatown and BBC Radio 4's play Avenues of Eternal Peace about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. PP Wong is now a writer and is also editor of www.bananawriters.com, a platform to encourage new East Asian and South East Asian writers with thousands of readers from over 30 different countries.

Visit her at ppwongauthor.com
Please check out the other stops on the blog tour. 

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