The Life of a Banana

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More About This Title The Life of a Banana


A unique, powerful novel about the life of a British-born Chinese girl growing up in London, and the prejudice she faces—inspired by the author's own experiences

Xing Li is what some Chinese people call a banana—yellow on the outside and white on the inside. Although born and raised in London, she never feels like she fits in. When her mother dies, she moves with her older brother to live with venomous Grandma, strange Uncle Ho, and Hollywood actress Auntie Mei. Her only friend is Jay, a mixed raced Jamaican boy with a passion for classical music. Then Xing Li’s life takes an even harsher turn: the school bullying escalates and her uncle requests she assist him in an unthinkable favor. Her happy childhood becomes a distant memory as her new life is infiltrated with the harsh reality of being an ethnic minority. Consumed by secrets, violence, and confusing family relations, Xing Li tries to find hope wherever she can. In order to find her own identity, she must first discover what it means to be both Chinese and British.


PP Wong was born in London. Her parents, both Chinese and originally from Singapore, moved between London and Asia during her childhood. She is the first British-born Chinese novelist to be published in the UK. She is the editor of, a platform to encourage new East Asian and South East Asian writers.