Lao She

Mr Ma and Son

Mr Ma and Son

Summary

Translated by William Dolby, with an introduction by Julia Lovell


'He was in London - why be bothered looking at it? Wasn't it bad enough just being there?'


Newly arrived from their native China, Mr Ma and his son Ma Wei run an antiques shop nestled by St Paul's Cathedral, where they try to make a living amid the smog and bustle of 1920s London. As they struggle with money, misunderstandings and the ways of the English - from the overbearing patronage of missionary Reverend Ely to their well-meaning landlady Mrs Weddeburn and her carefree daughter - can understanding, even love, blossom? Both a moving story of the Chinese immigrant experience and a bitingly funny satire on the English, Mr Ma and Son delicately portrays the dreams and disappointments of those seeking a new life in a distant land.