2019 CANADA READS FINALIST
Shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust of Canada Prize for Nonfiction; Winner, Hubert Evans Nonfiction Prize; Longlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour
In this jaw-dropping, darkly comedic memoir, a young woman comes of age in a dysfunctional Asian family who blame their woes on ghosts and demons when they should really be on anti-psychotic meds.
Lindsay Wong grew up with a paranoid schizophrenic grandmother and a mother who was deeply afraid of the "woo-woo" -- Chinese ghosts who come to visit in times of personal turmoil. From a young age, she witnessed the woo-woo's sinister effects; when she was six, Lindsay and her mother avoided the dead people haunting their house by hiding out in a mall food court, and on a camping trip, in an effort to rid her daughter of demons, her mother tried to light Lindsay's foot on fire.
The eccentricities take a dark turn, however, and when Lindsay starts to experience symptoms of the woo-woo herself, she wonders whether she will suffer the same fate as her family.
At once a witty and touching memoir about the Asian immigrant experience and a harrowing and honest depiction of the vagaries of mental illness, The Woo-Woo is a gut-wrenching and beguiling manual for surviving family, and oneself.