Bridging Cultures

Worlds Apart


Mrs. Lin’s story

Twice a year, Mrs. Lin flies from Hong Kong to New York to visit her daughter and grandchildren. She has learned to negotiate the subways and find her way to Chinatown. She has joined a church and made friends whom she enjoys for the four months of the year she is in America.

What Mrs. Lin can’t negotiate is the widening gap between herself and her “American” family. She speaks little English; her grandchildren speak no Chinese. History and food is their common language.

Joanna’s story

Johanna married a G.I. after the Second World War and moved to America, where she had her children and built a home. Her accent is discernible, but there are few other signs of her first 20 years in Poland. Her grandchildren listen politely to her stories about the war but it is a time and place far removed from the world they know. As teenagers, they can’t understand when she talks about being bombed or leaving the family apartment with her four brothers and sisters, all under the age of 14, to search for their mother.

Someday, Mrs. Lin’s and Joanna’s grandchildren will want to know all these stories. They will wonder what it was like to have a Chinese wedding with 1200 guests or how the four young Polish children survived as they made their way more than 50 miles to a small village where their mother had last been seen. Nothing replaces a firsthand account or stories full of historical detail, personalities, small domestic details, and culture.


Please Note: To protect our clients’ privacy, we have not used actual names. However, the excerpts and circumstances are exactly as presented. Client references and writing samples are available on request.

To learn more—or to start your story—contact Camden Writers at


Camden Writers • 20 Lincoln Street. Brunswick Maine, 04011 • tel (207) 729-0911