Meet Linda Rui Feng

Meet Linda Rui Feng

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Meet Linda Rui Feng

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Meet Linda Rui Feng

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Linda Rui Feng's lyrical novel chronicles the story of a young Chinese family in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. In 1981, five-year-old Junie, born without legs, is sent to live with her grandparents in a small village called Trout River. Her father, Momo, has left China for America to seek a better future, with her mother, Cassia, due to follow.

The novel traces the adults' attempts to seek reconciliation within themselves and with each other. Feng moves fluidly back and forth through time, vividly portraying the experience of living in China during Mao's rule as well as the pressures of being a new immigrant.

The interweaving of character and setting, past and present are told from multiple points of view—with just the right amount of historical reference so that the reader gets a glimpse into the social environment during and after China’s Cultural Revolution.

We invite you to come on a journey with us as we explore the themes of this beautifully written exploration of family, art, culture, immigration and love.


Linda Rui Feng is a writer and a scholar, a practitioner and researcher of imaginative storytelling.

A graduate of Harvard and Columbia Universities, Linda Rui Feng is currently a professor of Chinese cultural history at the University of Toronto, where her research often takes her to long-forgotten books from the ninth century and, more recently, the history of scent and aromatics.

Her first novel, Swimming Back to Trout River, traces the far-flung orbits of a family across two continents and explores the themes of music and migration in the aftermath of one of China’s most tumultuous eras in the twentieth century.

Swimming Back to Trout River was longlisted for the 2021 Giller Prize.


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