The City of SealionsAuthor: Eva Sallis
Imprint: Allen & Unwin
Featured in the March, 2002 magazine
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Lian is a stranger in a strange land, fighting her mother, Phi-Van, from afar. Haunted by her mother's story, Lian has run to the other side of the world, only to discover the true nature of what it means to be an outsider. As she loses herself in the confusing life of Yemen, her new foster mother country, she cannot see that the tyranny of Phi-Van's greater suffering is also her lifeline. But she must break too before she can grow. This is a rich and strange journey under the sea to the place that defines and limits us all. A luminous book about language, identity, culture and family about a refugee mother who lost them all and a daughter who went to find them.
Sallis is that wondrous creature, a writer with much to say, and a voice of surpassing elegance with which to say it.
Review by: Geraldine Brooks