Wayson Choy's Dimsum Roast May 2002

Wayson Choy's dim sum today, May 11, 2002, was a blast. It was great to see him gently roasted by his childhood buddies and to hear about the real stories and the real people behind The Jade Peony and Paper Shadows.

For example we met the real tap dancing sisters (page 256 of Paper Shadows), Lil and Shirley Lee, so vividly dramatised on page 33 of the Jade Peony and they showed us their tap shoes and red ribbons. And we met Wayson's childhood playmates, Garson Lee, and Larry Wong (page 268 of Paper Shadows), who entertained us with hilarious anecodotes from their time with Wayson in Chinatown.

We also met Wayson's creative writing instructor and Michael Glassbourg, the man who created the documentary about Wayson Choy, Unfolding the Butterfly.

The food was yummy too. Steamed Shrimp dumplings (har gao), Deep Fried Wontons, Spring Roll, steamed pork buns (char siu bao), Yang Chow Fried rice, chicken with celery, cashews and other vegetables topped with candied walnuts and braised E-Fu noodles.

But for me the highlight was the video appearance of Carol Shields. Wow! Words cannot describe how poignant the moment it was to see Carol, an artist at the height of her powers struggling against physical illness, looking wonderfully strong as she saluted Wayson.

All in all, a great event and a great fundraiser for the Vancouver Public Library.

Barb and I were lucky enough to get a picture with Wayson as he signed his books for us!

wayson.choy.barb.i.11may.2002: Wayson Choy, Barb and I at his dim sum "roast" on May 11, 2002