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Shoulee Paul was born and raised in post-World War II Taiwan, Republic of China. Besides the difficulty of surviving in a nation that was rebuilding after half a century of Japanese colonial rule, Shoulee faced other challenges. Her family was divided by a reality not unknown in Chinese society. Her father, married and fathered children, then accepted into the home a second woman, who likewise gave birth to several more. The competition between the mothers, "Da-ma" and "Shao-ma," and the strife between their offspring evolved into an environment where everyone struggled for survival. But there is love between the half brothers and sisters, who have stayed close over the years. In spite of painful memories, family gatherings are lively and fun-filled. And while old grudges are frequently revisited, the solidarity of family remains. Shoulee retells her story, sharing her experience as well as painting a portrait of life for a poor family struggling amidst political and domestic realities.

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