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    OneBookOneAurora celebrates Canadian writing and builds a sense of community through the shared experience of reading and discussing the same book.


    We hope you enjoy this year’s selection, attend some of the events and join us to meet Linda Rui Feng at our grand finale on

    Saturday, October 22, 2022.


    Linda Rui Feng's lyrical novel chronicles the story of a young Chinese family in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. In 1981, five-year-old Junie, born without legs, is sent to live with her grandparents in a small village called Trout River. Her father, Momo, has left China for America to seek a better future, with her mother, Cassia, due to follow.


    The novel traces the adults' attempts to seek reconciliation within themselves and with each other. Feng moves fluidly back and forth through time, vividly portraying the experience of living in China during Mao's rule as well as the pressures of being a new immigrant.


    The interweaving of character and setting, past and present are told from multiple points of view—with just the right amount of historical reference so that the reader gets a glimpse into the social environment during and after China’s Cultural Revolution.


    We invite you to come on a journey with us as we explore the themes of this beautifully written exploration of family, art, culture, immigration and love.


    Photo Credit: Brock Weir, The Auroran.

    Linda Rui Feng

    Linda Rui Feng is a writer and a scholar, a practitioner and researcher of imaginative storytelling.


    A graduate of Harvard and Columbia Universities, Linda Rui Feng is currently a professor of Chinese cultural history at the University of Toronto, where her research often takes her to long-forgotten books from the ninth century and, more recently, the history of scent and aromatics.

    Her first novel, Swimming Back to Trout River, traces the far-flung orbits of a family across two continents and explores the themes of music and migration in the aftermath of one of China’s most tumultuous eras in the twentieth century.


    Swimming Back to Trout River was longlisted for the 2021 Giller Prize.


    If you liked Swimming Back to Trout River, you may like the following:



    Women's Voices, Censorship & Resistance





    Yafang Shi

    Photographer, Journalist & Poet





    Please continue to check for OBOA event listings.

    An Evening with Jan Wong

    Jan Wong went to China as a starry-eyed Maoist in 1972 at the height of the
    Cultural Revolution. Learn about her experiences and how her love affair began to sour as she became aware of the harsh realities of Chinese communism.


    About Jan Wong

    Jan Wong reported on Democracy Wall and the beginnings of dissent in China.
    She recently retired as Professor of Journalism, St. Thomas University,
    Fredericton, NB. Her first book, Red China Blues, remains banned in China.


    Talk | Q&A


    Thursday, September 29 | 7:00 PM


    Register at bit.ly/3rFdZhL
    Tickets available August 1

    The Butterfly Lovers Concerto

    Be transformed as the York Chamber Ensemble, featuring solo violinist Joyce Lai, sweeps you into a folktale of star-crossed lovers. This one-movement concerto includes three sections that correspond to the three phases of the story—Falling in Love, Refusing to Marry and Metamorphosis. Composed by He Zhanhoa and Chen Gang (1958).


    Saturday, October 1 | 2:30 PM


    Library Living Room

    A Symphony with the Senses: writing workshop


    Attention to the senses is a form of meditation that not only anchors writers to their creative source, but provides nuanced information about the character, setting, and even plot.


    Inspired by Linda Rui Feng’s Swimming Back to Trout River, this workshop takes a deep dive into the essence of your subject matter by awakening and writing with the five senses.


    Beginner and experienced writers welcome. Bring a work-in-progress (novel, short story, poem, or memoir) or use the exercises to discover something new.


    Saturday, October 1 l 1:30 – 3:00 PM


    Register at bit.ly/3qRXG1o
    Tickets available August 1


    Multi-Purpose Room or Zoom pending COVID protocols.

    The Art of Chinese Dance

    Experience the language of movement as the Mellow Sisters & Tian Shu Art Group reveal the richness of the art of Chinese Dance.


    Tian Shu Art Group is a non-profit art group that supports Chinese culture and promotes multiculturalism. The Mellow Sisters provide Chinese cultural experiences through vocal and dance performances.


    Saturday, October 15 l 2:00 – 2:30 PM


    Library Living Room


    Meet Linda Rui Feng

    Linda Rui Feng is a writer and a scholar, a practitioner and researcher of imaginative storytelling.


    Meet the author and enjoy a fascinating glimpse into the experiences that shaped this powerful book.


    Conversation | Reading | Q&A


    Saturday, October 22 | 2:00 PM


    Register at bit.ly/34tU5hP
    Tickets available August 1




    Swimming Back to Trout River is a moving story of a Chinese family navigating change in turbulent times. Families provide an endless source of material; secrets buried, trauma, hope, betrayal and love. Send us your story of family (real or imagined) to enter the OBOA 2022 writing contest.


    Submission Guidelines:

    • There are two categories: Youth (ages 14 – 17) and Adult (ages 18+)
    • Submissions can be in any genre, in original and unpublished in any form
    • Maximum length 10 pages, double spaced
    • Handwritten submissions will not be accepted
    • Manuscripts will not be returned, but the author retains all rights to their work
    • Winners will be announced at the OBOA grand finale on October 22, 2022
    • Winning stories will be published in the online edition of Borealis
    • APL employees/Board/judges and their immediate families are ineligible to win
    • Send your entries to writingcontest@aurorapl.ca
    • Contest deadline: Friday, September 30, 2022
    • Prizes: Winner $100 Gift Card | Runner-Up $50 Gift Card


    The Power of Music

    Swimming Back to Trout River, music and its riveting power connects the characters through space and time. Capture the power of music and performance in this year’s OBOA photography contest.


    Submission Guidelines:

    • There are two categories: Youth (Ages 14 – 17) and Adult (Ages 18 +) 
    • Images may be digitally altered 
    • Photographs must be high resolution for print
    • Winners will be announced at the OBOA grand finale on October 22, 2022
    • Winning photographs will be published in the Auroran
    • APL Employees/Board/Judges and immediate families are ineligible to win
    • Please send submissions to brock@lpcmedia.ca
    • Contest Deadline: Friday, September 30, 2022
    • Prizes: Winner $100 Gift Card | Runner-Up $50 Gift Card


    If your book club would like to borrow multiple copies of Swimming Back to Trout River, please contact Reccia at rmandelcorn@aurorapl.ca.

    Copies will be available from January through August 2022.


    While quantities last.

    Junie is born without the lower limbs below her knees. Cassia cannot bear to look at her daughter, but Momo looks ahead to life in America where his daughter can have a future despite her disability. Was the rejection by the mother and full acceptance by the father surprising to you?

    In the chapter titled “The Improviser’s Guide to Untranslatable Words” we are introduced to several Chinese metaphysical terms. Did this writing technique contribute to your involvement in the novel – and if so, how?

    Images of violins appear throughout the novel and work in tandem to symbolize hope and longing. What does the violin symbolize in the context of the life narratives of Dawn, Momo and Junie?

    Trout River is a symbol of home. When Momo is growing up, he is desperate to leave. However, as a grown man living in America, he clings to memories of Trout River in order to understand himself. How do you think the concept of 'home" plays out in the hearts of immigrants, even if they left their place of birth because of less than desirable circumstances?

    Linda Rui Feng was quoted as saying “I don’t think it’s a novelist’s job, per se, to make history ‘fresh’ or ‘relevant,’ but if she does her job well, her characters will inevitably illuminate an aspect of the past and throw open windows.” Did you know much about the Cultural Revolution before reading this novel? Did reading about the historical context make you want to learn more?


    Look for copies of Swimming Back to Trout River in our little lending libraries around Town this summer. Enjoy the book, but please return it so that others might read it as well.


    And of course, print copies are available to borrow from Aurora Public Library and online through cloudLibrary. We hope you enjoy the book and look forward to seeing you at the events.


    Linda Rui Feng explores music, history and immigration in novel Swimming Back to Trout River

    CBC Books October 1, 2021



    APL picks debut novel for One Book One Aurora 2022
    The Auroran, January 6, 2022


    Music and family are themes that help guide One Book One Aurora 2022

    The Auroran, January 13, 2022