CHINGLISH is the hilarious and tragic diary of a girl and her utterly bonkers family who live above their Chinese takeaway, written and illustrated by Sue Cheung, to be published by Andersen Press in September 2019.
CHINGLISH is a page-turning account of Sue Cheung‘s own adolescence - a first generation Brit growing up in 1980s Coventry above her parents’ Chinese takeaway. A one-of-a-kind illustrated novel about family, food, being different and finding your own way.
‘“Where are you from?” Will there ever be a day when they don’t mention my Chinese’ness?’
Jo Kwan is a teenager growing up in 1980s Coventry with her “devil spawn” little sister, too-cool older brother, a series of very unlucky pets and parents who don’t speak English (and Jo was never taught Chinese) who “know more about quantum physics than they do about their own kids, which is sod all.” Mum never leaves the kitchen. First aid is always soy sauce. And never upset snooker mad dad…. But unlike the other kids at her new school or her posh “best in show” cousins, Jo lives above her parents’ Chinese take-away.
And things can be tough – as she tries to find her way between being bullied at school for being different and “tossing the woks” and dealing with unruly customers at night in the takeaway. Even when she does find a BFF who actually likes Jo for herself, she still has to contend with her erratic dad’s behaviour. All Jo dreams of is breaking free and forging a career as an artist.
Told in diary entries and doodles, Sue Cheung‘s brilliantly funny observations about life, family and cooking the best char siu make for a searingly honest portrayal of life on the other side of the takeaway counter.
SUE CHEUNG says: “You know when you want to pretend some things just never happened…? Like Yin and Yang, good can’t exist without bad – we didn’t know any better but a voice in my head always said there must be something more. At least the experience of illustrating and writing about my past has saved me paying for an expensive course of therapy – so that’s a plus. The other plus is I’ve learned that ultimately, my story needs to be heard, so others going through the same things can think ‘Oh, so I’m not the only crazy kid here... phew.’”
CHINGLISH by Sue Cheung published by Andersen Press. Publication date: 1 September 2019 Paperback £7.99 ISBN: 9781783448395
Sue Cheung was born in the Midlands and spent her early years clowning about and busily scribbling and drawing. At the age of 16 she seized her chance to become an artist by winning a scholarship to the London College of Fashion. Later, Sue went into advertising and worked her way up to Art Director. She now freelances as a designer from her home in Bournemouth, where she illustrates children’s books.
Andersen Press is a leading independent children’s publisher, and home to some of the biggest names in the world of children’s books, including the much-loved picture book characters Elmer the Patchwork Elephant and the Little Princess. Andersen Press is the publisher of many award-winning authors and illustrators including Melvin Burgess, Rebecca Stead, Susin Nielsen, Julian Clary, David Roberts, Tony Ross, David McKee, and Jeanne Willis. The company was founded in 1976 by Klaus Flugge.