Ann R. Wilson graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a BA in English and a concentration in writing. She worked as a promotional and technical writer before earning her certification in Secondary Education. She taught high school English and now works as a private tutor supporting high school and college students in the areas of critical reading, analytical and creative writing, test-taking strategies, executive functioning, and college consulting. In addition to living in Hong Kong as an adolescent, she and her husband lived in London for two years. This is her first book. Read More
Eighth grade: for many, one of the worst years in school. But for Ann, it held promises – a growing group of friends, a school musical, a fancy graduation dance, and a trip to Washington D.C., but mostly, the emergence of her better self, less sickly, less ugly, less awkward.
Instead, an unexpected move to Hong Kong pulls her away from all that is familiar and comfortable at a time when she believes she needs that most. Ann looks back at this time in her life, and through a blend of her adolescent and adult voice, reveals a unique coming-of-age in the late 1970’s when Hong Kong was a mash up of glittering wealth and wretched poverty, elegance and filth, but primarily a British Colony devoted to excessive capitalist freedom. Hong Kong was a playground for expatriates, and Ann, initially angry and unwilling to acclimate, let alone assimilate, eventually finds herself embracing her new home and discovering parts of herself she never knew existed.
While Ann forges new and unusual friendships, her father – an architect with a volatile and creative temperament – struggles with the challenges of working for a Chinese client and facing his own limitations. Ann and her family eventually return to their home in Western Springs, Illinois, broken, confused, and initially unwilling to accept their ‘old’ American life.
This is a story about becoming a young woman, acknowledging, accepting, and loving flawed adults, and making the most of living abroad despite the challenges present, not only in moving overseas, but in returning ‘home.’