I watched its birth from the sidelines, I saw the pain endured in its writing and was blown away.
That amazement was for the uncanny ability of the woman I love to draw on her earliest memories and weave them into narrative.
Ufrieda Ho’s book Paper Sons and Daughters has achieved great things since its release last year. In that time her book has touched hundreds of people here in South Africa.
Some have contacted her to tell her about their own life stories about growing up South African.
For those who don’t know the book it is a memoir that begins with Ufrieda’s father’s journey across the Indian Ocean as a stowaway.
He is escaping a post war China hoping to find his fortune in Johannesburg, South Africa.
But what he finds in South Africa is apartheid and to survive he has to run illegal gambling games in the black townships.
He becomes what is called a fahfee man, and his winnings fed and educated his family.
Ufrieda tells the story of the forgotten victims of South Africa’s racial segregation, the Chinese.
Then in April 1993, a year before the country’s first democratic election, tragedy strikes the Ho family.
Today Ufrieda’s book begins a new journey, it has landed in the big US of A.
Paper Sons and Daughters is being launched in the US by the Ohio University Press.
There will be a slight makeover, I am sure, some US friendly spellings like color instead of colour, humor rather than humour.
But still that compelling story.