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The West End, a novel set in Vancouver, Canada in the years directly preceding the handover of Hong Kong in 1997, is the story of two sisters, Claire and Hannah Stephen, whose love of art and the environment is challenged by the aggressive and sometimes destructive business ethic of the Wongs, a nouveau riche family from Hong Kong. When the Wongs tear down the Stephens' old family home and replace it with a 'monster house,' a struggle between the families ensues. Nonetheless, the possibility of romance slowly burgeons between Claire and Mark Wong. Through the clash of values, the novel dramatizes the fate of Vancouver at the end of the millennium when a booming economy, skyrocketing housing prices, and rapidly accelerating immigration conspired to change the city forever, and through the precarious relationship between Claire and Mark, the novel asks the often unasked questions that arise at the intersection of race and love.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of English in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Robert Olen Butler, Professor Directing Dissertation; Aaron Feng Lan, Outside Committee Member; Mark Winegardner, Committee Member; Christopher Shinn, Committee Member; Barry Faulk, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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