After a humiliating breakup, equally embarrassing academic news, and one too many dramatic misadventures, Chinese-American teen Iris Wang is shipped off to Beijing by her parents to spend the summer with relatives and get her life together.
But of course, it doesn't quite work out that way when Iris learns that her relatives are ridiculously wealthy billionaires, and instead of the low-key vacation she was expecting, Iris is swept up in a whirlwind of luxury, high fashion, dog shows, and a mysterious and handsome Chinese tutor who may have a thing or two to teach her.
Lindsay Wong grew up with a paranoid schizophrenic grandmother and a mother who was deeply afraid of the "woo-woo" -- Chinese ghosts who come to visit in times of personal turmoil. From a young age, she witnessed the woo-woo's sinister effects; when she was six, Lindsay and her mother avoided the dead people haunting their house by hiding out in a mall food court, and on a camping trip, in an effort to rid her daughter of demons, her mother tried to light Lindsay's foot on fire.
At once a witty and touching memoir about the Asian immigrant experience and a harrowing and honest depiction of the vagaries of mental illness, The Woo-Woo is a gut-wrenching and beguiling manual for surviving family, and oneself.
#1 on the British Columbia bestseller list
#1 on the Vancouver Sun bestseller list
Winner of the 2019 Hubert Evans Non-fiction Prize
CBC Books Canadian non-fiction bestseller
The Globe and Mail Canadian non-fiction bestseller
Toronto Star Canadian non-fiction bestseller
Toronto Star original non-fiction bestseller
Newsweek selection for “Best Books from 2018”
CBC Books selection for “The Best Canadian Nonfiction of 2018”
The Globe and Mail selection for “The Globe 100: Our Favorite Books of 2018”
Quill & Quire selection for “Books of the Year 2018”
Online Bestseller at Chapters Indigo
Finalist for the 2019 Leacock Medal for Humour
Shortlisted for the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
Shortlisted for Canada Reads 2019
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“This dark, witty and touching memoir […] is equal parts blunt, honest and hilarious.”
“The Woo-Woo contains universal insights about dealing with mental illness and loved ones, which will be familiar to readers from outside the diaspora, too.”
“One of those stories that will make you laugh and gasp.”
“Darkly funny memoir."
“The Woo-Woo will break your heart then bind it back together.”
“This is a bracing debut. A raw, profane, and funny memoir.”
“Rich with gritty, hard-earned insight, The Woo-Woo illuminates the shaky reality of living across two cultures and offers a difficult, tenuous bridge between these worlds.”
“Wong’s memoir, The Woo-Woo is as wickedly hilarious and irreverent as it is caustic and harrowing.”
"The Woo-Woo is both heart-wrenching and batshit insane, and is also beautifully rendered and fearless in its whip-smart humor."
"Wong has a flair for vivid scene-setting and an easy way with dialogue, but it’s the fierce confidence of her debut that really stands out."