Beyond the Moongate
True Stories of 1920s China
By Elizabeth Quan
(Tundra Books, Hardcover, 9781770493834, 40pp.)
Publication Date: March 12, 2013
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MOONGATES DOTTED THE LANDSCAPE OF OLD CHINA. Ancient Chinese architects had sculpted stone piled on sculpted stone to form round doorways, with the spiritual symbolism of the full moon. To step through one of these doorways was to step into a world of peace and happiness....
And so it was in the 1920s that the Lee King family - father, mother, and six children, aged ten months to seven years - traveled from their home in Canada, across the Pacific Ocean, to inland China. There, they had the opportunity to step beyond the moongate into a land not yet touched by modern warfare or political unrest.
The story of the moongate, tells of the two "golden" years the family spent with Grandmother in a remote village in the south, which hadn't changed for centuries.
Step inside and live the long lazy days of a China forever gone. The moongate beckons....
Elizabeth Quan is a Canadian watercolorist active in the art scene both nationally and internationally, and has been for over 25 years. She is known for her vital and organic impressionistic works which are included in hundreds of private and corporate collections. She was the last protégé of Jack Pollock. Elizabeth holds a BA in East Asian studies from the University of Toronto, and was connected with the Chinese Gallery at the Royal Ontario Museum for six years. She has published three books including: Quan, My Life My Art, and The Immortal Poet of the Milo -- three Chinese puppet plays. She was an active puppeteer for many years. She is widowed with three grown daughters and lives in Toronto.
“Anecdotal paintings and reminiscences of two childhood years spent in China, by an artist now in her 90s … Quan recalls 17 experiences or incidents during the stay…. It’s a sunny picture, but there are references to the real dangers of pirates and brigands, as well as a comment about the author’s beloved Popo (grandmother) walking to church on bound feet. These, along with a final parting made particularly poignant … warm, humorous and engaging overall.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“. . . [A] delightful memoir . . . The watercolour artwork in this book is vibrant and animated and gives depth and energy to the story.”
– Highly Recommended, CM Magazine
“… The book is beautifully designed…. A tender remembrance that will reach today’s readers.”