What My Bones Know: A Memoir of Healing from Complex Trauma

Ballantine. Feb. 2022. 352p. ISBN 9780593238103. $28. MEMOIR
Foo, a journalist and radio producer who grew up in San Jose, CA, writes her first book, a memoir about trauma, abuse, and therapy. She is the daughter of Malaysian immigrants, both of whom endured harrowing experiences before arriving on U.S. shores. Foo writes that her mother was physically, verbally, and emotionally abusive; Foo was once beaten to the point where neighbors knocked on the front door of the family home, concerned at hearing her cries. Her parents divorced in her early teens and subsequently abandoned her. Forced to make her way to adulthood on her own, Foo tried various kinds of therapy, including EMDR, before meeting a doctor who helped her learn new ways to communicate and process emotions. In this memoir, she discusses being diagnosed in 2018 with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD), which tends to affect people who have experienced repeated trauma over a period of years. Foo broadens the scope of her book to include research and interviews with Asian American peers who experienced similar intergenerational trauma and abuse.
VERDICT Foo’s writing is shrewdly insightful. In telling her story so compellingly, she joins authors such as Anna Qu and Ly Tran in adding nuance to the “model minority” myth, if not actively subverting it. Highly recommended.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing