Shirley Geok-lin Lim’s memoir is a courageously frank and deeply affecting account of a Malaysian girlhood and of the making of an Asian-American woman, writer, and teacher.With insight, candor, and grace, Lim reveals the material poverty and violence of her childhood in colonized and then war-torn Malaysia after her father’s business fails and her mother abandons the family, leaving Shirley to travel the road toward womanhood alone. Lim’s decision in 1968 to leave Malaysia and the man she loves for a Fulbright Scholarship at Brandeis University marks a crucial turning point in her life. Grappling to secure a place for herself in the United States, Lim is often caught between the stifling traditions of the old world and the harsh challenges of the new. But throughout her journey, she is sustained by her warrior” spirit. Very gradually, and often painfully, she moves from a numbing alienation as a dislocated Asian woman to a new sense of identity as an Asian American woman: professor, wife, mother of a son she determines to raise as an American, and, above all, an impassioned writer.