A brief book review of Sky Lee's novel: "Disappearing Moon Cafe." It discusses the main character Kae's rejection of Chinese Patriachal values.

Essay by canadianchick1983University, Bachelor'sA, January 2003

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In Sky Lee's Novel, Disappearing Moon Café, the character Kae breaks the circle of female self-destruction that has restricted and isolated the women of the Wong family through three generations. By discovering the secrets of her family's history, and more specifically the truth about her dead aunt Suzanne, Kae learns to erase the boundaries the have hindered her own aspirations and rejects the Chinese patriarchal values that confined and controlled the women of her past. The rediscovery of her individual identity allows Kae to embrace her own sexuality and artistic ambitions and, in turn, leads her to pursue a lesbian relationship with Hermia. Kae finds companionship, love and trust from Hermia, and leaves behind the rigid constraints of a patriarchally defined society for a female community.

Throughout the novel, a close parallel is drawn between Kae's quest to reveal the secrets of her past and her journey towards self-realization.

By slowly piecing together the tragic circumstances surrounding the suicide of her aunt Suzanne, Kae begins to realize her own path. This new direction eventually evolves beyond the practice of traditionally defined Chinese patriarchal ideals that controlled her aunt Suzie. Kae becomes obsessed with the truth about Suzie, which she closely connects to the exploration of her individual identity. Through her own interpretations, Kae gives Suzie a means of expression and a character that is comparable to and symbolic of her own.

With the birth of her first-born son Bobby, Kae's mother Beatriz finally reveals the truth about her families past, "the same past that has shaped so much of my own life, with evil tentacles that could have wormed into the innocent, tender parts of my baby." Kae resolves not to let the past influence her and her baby the way it bounded the women of in...