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Banana Boys is a novel about five Chinese Canadians, "Bananas" (read: yellow on the outside, white on the inside), caught in between two cultures which do not seem to accept them fully. Not quite Chinese and not really Canadian, they stumble through stories, situations, incidents, interactions that are seemingly mundane, but upon closer examination, ultimately explore the nature of identity, and reveal the possibilities within themselves.

Alienated, frustrated and neurally-overactive, the story takes them through a complicated and sometimes bewildering sea of relationships, traditions, values, technological revolution, pop-culture and social change. They struggle with the trials and tribulations that modern Canadian society poses to all marginals, generally finding ignorance and misunderstanding from virtually every source except each other.

(Authors addendum, taken from a good discussion: "I chose the title 'Banana Boys' as a statement of neutral, non-political (well... nearly non-political) fact. It's merely fact that my characters are yellow on the outside and white on the inside. It's a term that has been used derogatorily by both sides of the equation, the Chinese and the (typically white) Canadian. So I guess it's something of a recapturing of that term, in an ironic sense, to represent a rejection of those two sides for the betrayal they have tendered to every individual who doesn't fit neatly into the two arbitrary buckets. You can look at 'Banana' as a kind of ironic oversimplification of a situation, a term that anyone who has felt that they've been been screwed by the two systems can take, if they're finally on the path to taking comfort in the thing that is most important – themselves, and themselves alone.")

(FYI... despite some negative adjectives, it's really a happy message – happy, say, in a bittersweet "Cowboy Junkies" way!)

book cover
click here for full size images of the front and back of the book
about the publisher


The Riverbank Press is now an imprint of Cormorant Books.  Riverbank has released some really notable books, including:

by Richard Scrimger.

Suggestive Poses: Artists And Critics Respond To Censorship
by Lorraine Johnson.

Out Of My Skin
by Tessa McWatt.

The Mice Will Play
by Edward O. Phillips.

Contact Cormorant at for more information.

Interested in carrying Banana Boys in your store?  

Please contact the University of Toronto Press Warehouse:
5201 Dufferin St. North York, Ontario M3H 5T8 
Phone: (416) 667-7791
Fax: (416) 667-7832

Into Other Cormorant Books?  Click here.

more info?