By Patricia Lim
Denise Chong, author of The Concubine’s Children and The Girl in the Picture had a book reading of her latest book, Egg on Mao at the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library last night before an audience of around 50. She was articulate, modest and, when it came time for the question and answer period, polite and diplomatic. Egg on Mao tells the story of Lu Decheng, one of three men from Hunan who came to Beijing’s Tiananmen Square shortly during the student protests (but before June 4th), to hurl 30 paint-filled eggs at the giant painting of Mao Zedong hanging from the gateway to the Forbidden City.
Chong read several passages from her latest work, setting up the background behind each passage and talking about her experiences in researching and completing the book. There was a sense that she was a little reluctant to talk too much on her experience researching in China, given the sensitivity of the topic in the country. However, she did speak about meeting at street corners, passing messages along, etc. All in all, a great literary evening.