A Little Bit About Paul Yee...
- born in Spalding Saskatchewan, Canada
- grew up in Chinatown in Vancouver British Columbia, Canada
- attended Lord Strathcona Elementary School, Britannia Secondary School
- attended Cantonese language school as a child but studied Mandarin at university.
- has limited reading, writing and speaking ability in Cantonese
- graduated from University of British Columbia with Bachelor's (1978) and Master's Degrees in Canadian History (1983)
- worked as archivist at City of Vancouver Archives (1979-1987) and at Archives of Ontario (1988-1991)
- worked at Ontario Ministry of Citizenship (1991-1997)
- volunteered at Vancouver Chinese Cultural Center (1974 - 1987)
- past hobbies: swimming, jogging, taiko (Japanese drumming)
- member of Writers Union of Canada (TWUC), Canadian Society of Children's Authors, Illustrators and Performers ( CANSCAIP)
- has lived in Toronto, Ontario since 1988
- the dog's name in Baxter, and he is a Wheaten Terrier
One FAQ Answered Here...
Why are my books about Chinese people? This is a question many people ask.
1. They're the people I know best. I grew up in a Chinatown. I'm familiar with the language, history, and culture.
2. They're the people I care about. Some of the characters in my books are drawn from my own family or the community.
3. They're the people about whom I'm most curious. This means I enjoy the research I do.
The more I learn about Chinese people, whether they live in North America, China or elsewhere in the world, the more I learn about experiences that affect me. I say this because people see I am Chinese right away, no matter where I am. Often, they make assumptions about me. For example:
"He doesn't speak English."
"He doesn't speak Chinese."
"He's an immigrant."
"He know a lot about Chinese food."
"He's going to complain about racism."
4. When I was a child, growing up in the 1960s, there were no books about my world--the world of immigrants, racial minorities, and different histories. I had to learn about these things much later in life.
5. My books mirror images of Chinese people back to themselves. Such books can reassure those in North American that it is valid to be different from the "mainstream." As well, the books let Chinese in North America see themselves, and each other, from new and different angles.
If you want to find what other people have written about Paul Yee, try these articles:
David, Marie C. "A Backward Way of Thanking People: Paul Yee on his Historical Fiction," Canadian Children's Literature, volume 22:3, Issue 83.
Jenkinson, Dave. "Paul Yee," Emergency Librarian, Volume 22:5 (May - June 1995) pp. 61-64
In 1991 School Services of Canada produced a 15-minute video on Paul Yee as part of its MEET THE AUTHOR series.