Balzer + Bray Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American
Balzer + Bray Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American

Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese-American

By Laura Gao


Publication Date: March 8, 2022

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Ages 14 And Up, Grades 9 And Up

A resonant teen graphic memoir about the author’s exploration of and struggles with her intersecting identities as an immigrant from Wuhan, a Chinese-American, and a queer woman.

Laura Gao immigrated from Wuhan to Texas when she was a child. Before COVID-19, not many people Laura encountered had heard of her hometown. Mostly the word "Wuhan" was met with blank stares and puzzlement. But all that changed in January of 2020.In The Wuhan I Know, Laura examines her own experience of growing up between two cultures. She looks back over her life as a queer Chinese-American immigrant who spent most of her youth trying to reconcile her outsider identity with her very white, very straight American peers. She was never "American enough" to fit in with them. As she travels back and forth from Wuhan to Texas, she also has to face that she can never be "Chinese enough" in the place where she was born.Insightful, original, and hilarious, toggling seamlessly between past and present, China and America, Gao’s debut is a tour de force of graphic storytelling.

About the Author

Laura Gao was born in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China, and grew up in several small towns in Central Texas. A graduate of University of Pennsylvania, she now lives in San Francisco. You can visit Laura at

Format: Paperback

Length: 304 pages

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Publication Date: February 9, 2022

ISBN: 9780063067769

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