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Finding wonderland

Updated: 2016-05-25 10:32
By Mei Jia (China Daily)

Finding wonderland

Chinese author Hong Ying shifts her focus to children's books, and her latest novel is a fantasy about a 10-year-old girl's adventures.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Hong Ying spotlights mother-daughter relations yet again in her latest novel, Mimidola: The River Child, Mei Jia reports.

Author Hong Ying says she only writes three types of novels-those that seek to understand and explore a house, a city and the world.

Yet, a lingering theme of many of her signature works is the mother-daughter relationship.

In her latest novel, Mimidola: The River Child, by People's Literature Publishing House, a beautifully illustrated fantasy story for young readers, the mother is absent from the beginning, leaving a 10-year-old Mimidola to undertake adventures by herself. After an intense journey to the underground and to ancient India in four magical days, she grows up, brave and witty enough to conquer fear, eliminate a flood and reunite with her mother.

"I had a terrible childhood being a daughter born out of wedlock," Hong Ying, 54, tells China Daily at her Beijing apartment. "Mimidola is my effort to reconcile with those memories."

The Chongqing-born author's real name is Chen Hongying.

She took five years to finish this book, whereas her earlier novels like K: The Art of Love, were done in months, she says.

The author also discovered her latent sense of humor through her latest novel, as she makes many jokes between the lines, a rarity in her previous works.

Unlike Mimidola from Jiangzhou, a fictional version of Chongqing in Southwest China, the writer's memories of the 1960s and early '70s with her mother are painful.

Hong Ying says her mother seldom spoke to her.

"In between those miseries, I spread my wings of fantasy, imagining that I was loved and that I could fly across the Yangtze River, and I felt my pains soothed," she recalls.

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