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Alison Wong was born and raised in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand, after her great-grandparents on both sides migrated from China's Guangdong province in the 1890s. Her poetry collection, Cup, was shortlisted for the Best First Book for Poetry at the 2007 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Her first novel is As the Earth Turns Silver.
It is New Zealand, and the first decade of the twentieth century. Katherine McKechnie is struggling to raise two children following the death of her husband, when a chance encounter with a Chinese shopkeeper blossoms into friendship and, eventually, love. Racial tension and prejudice mean the two must keep their relationship secret, but Katherine's son, Robbie, learns the truth and, on the eve of World War I as young men everywhere are swept up on a tide of macho patriotism, takes his family's honour into his own hands - with devastating consequences. Both captivating and beautiful, As the Earth Turns Silver is a compelling read -- and a remarkable debut.