Accomplice to Memory by Q.M. Zhang
In Accomplice to Memory, Q.M. Zhang pieces together the mystery of her father’s exodus from China to the US during the two decades of civil and world war leading up to the 1949 revolution. But after a lifetime of her father’s secrets and lies, Zhang’s efforts to untangle the truth are thwarted by the distance between generations and her father’s growing dementia. One day, late in his life, Zhang’s father tells her a story she never heard before, and suddenly, all of his previous stories begin to unravel. Before she can get clarity on the new information, her father is hospitalized. Armed with history books and timelines, Zhang sits at her father’s bedside recording accounts of love, espionage and betrayal, attempting to parse out the truth. Part memoir, novel and historical documentary, this hybrid text explores the silences and subterfuge of an immigrant parent, and the struggles of the second generation to understand the first. Q.M. Zhang is a Professor of Cultural Psychology at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.