Did you say “Huh?” when you read that? I did. Then I heard that it was the title of a new book about an adoptive family’s radical move from suburban Georgia to rural China to expose their daughter (and the whole family) to the language, cultures, and traditions in China.
Wow. I was intrigued, partly because our adopted girls were born in China, and also partly because TubaDad and I toy with the idea of moving to China for a year or two to give Ro and Ree firsthand exposure to their China. Anyhow, I couldn’t wait to read the book. And it didn’t disappoint.
I loved reading about how this ordinary American family of five adapted to live in China. The author (mother Aminta Arrington) gives an honest portrayal of the ups and downs and the joys and trials, and gives such a well-written glimpse into the real China. She is fascinated with understanding the ancient Chinese characters and she drew me in also.
Home is a Roof Over a Pig refers to the Chinese character for “home,” which has strokes for “roof” and “pig” because in ancient China “the life of a man and his swine were so bound up together that the pigs just wandered through the house.”
As another example, Arrington shows how the character for population literally is composed of strokes for “people” and “mouths”—separate characters that all Chinese students learn in kindergarten. As Arrington says though “Put them together, and they austerely, yet uniquely, express the challenge China has long faced; a large population means more mouths to feed.” See what I mean? Fascinating.
I think anyone who has adopted from China or wants to learn more about living in China would be interested in this book. I heartily recommend it and am passing it to my husband to read next. Who knows, we might have a similar experience in the next five years and you’ll be reading my book next. :-)
Home is a Roof Over a Pig will be released July 2012, and you can preorder it on the book’s web site or author Aminta Arrington’s web site. You can also win a copy here -- Aminta is offering a signed copy of her book to one lucky Salsa reader. To enter, please fill out this form (comments on this post will not be counted as entries):One entry per person. U.S. and Canadian entries only. If you’d like to see the entries so far, they’re here. Giveaway is open through July 1st. Winner will be drawn at random, notified by email, and announced here.
The giveaway is now closed and the winner has been announced.