Twenty years after coming to America, I still dream of my beloved hometown, Wuhan, the capital of China’s central Hubei province. I dream of shopping in the morning at vegetable markets along the Yangtze River, cooking with my grandmother in our small kitchen and eating cold noodles in spicy sesame-soy sauce at a street vendor’s stall.
Last summer, I returned to Wuhan with my husband and son to research my upcoming novel, Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party. We flew to Shanghai and sailed up the Yangtze River to Chongqing aboard the cruise ship Viking Century Sun, and then back down to Wuhan. I had traveled the same route with my parents 15 years ago. Along the way, my father had introduced me to the natural wonders along the Yangtze River and to some of China’s greatest cultural treasures: Fengdu Ghost City, Shibaozhai Temple and the hanging coffins in Bawu Gorge. It was our last trip together before my parents passed away.