In the Garden Behind the Moon: A Memoir of Loss, Myth, and Magic

In the Garden Behind the Moon: A Memoir of Loss, Myth, and Magic

By Alexandra A Chan

A captivating family portrait, a wise and lyrical journey from loss to wholeness, and an urgent call to awaken to the magic and wonder of daily life.


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Book Information

Publisher: Flashpoint
Publish Date: 05/28/2024
Pages: 432
ISBN-13: 9781959411543
ISBN-10: 1959411543
Language: English

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Full Description

Alexandra Chan thinks she has life figured out until, in the Year of the Ram, the death of her father--her last parent--brings her to her knees, an event seemingly foretold in Chinese mythology.

A left-brained archaeologist and successful tiger daughter, Chan finds her logical approach to life utterly fails her in the face of this profound grief. Unable to find a way forward, she must either burn to ash or forge herself anew.

Slowly, painfully, wondrously, Chan discovers that her father and ancestors have left threads of renewal in the artifacts and stories of their lives. Through a long-lost interview conducted by Roosevelt's Federal Writers' Project, a basket of war letters written from the Burmese jungle, a box of photographs, her world travels, and a deepening relationship to her own art, the archaeologist and lifelong rationalist makes her greatest discovery to date: the healing power of enchantment.

In an epic story that travels from prerevolution China to the South under Jim Crow, from the Pacific theater of WWII to the black sands of Reynisfjara, Iceland, and beyond, Chan takes us on a universal journey to meaning in the wake of devastating loss, sharing the insights and tools that allowed her to rebuild her life and resurrect her spirit. Part memoir, part lyrical invitation to new ways of seeing and better ways of being in dark times, the book includes beautiful full-color original Chinese brush paintings by the author and fascinating vintage photographs of an unforgettable cast of characters. In the Garden Behind the Moon is a captivating family portrait and an urgent call to awaken to the magic and wonder of daily life.

About the Author

Alexandra A. Chan is the author of Slavery in the Age of Reason: Archaeology at a New England Farm, as well as numerous journal articles and book chapters about the archaeology of northern slavery, early African America, and questions of race, place, identity, and becoming.

As a mom, an archaeologist, a lover of soil and history, a photographer, a painter, and a writer, it's not unusual to wonder, "What ties it all together?"

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