y Behind the Moon single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2005 2005
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

'Justin Cheong, Tien Ho and Nigel Gibbo' Gibson have been best friends since school in a world divided along ethnic lines into skips, wogs and slopes. Together they've survived a suburban tragedy, compulsory karaoke nights and Justin's mother's obsession with clean toilets. They thought they would always be there for each other but they hadn't counted on the effects of jealousy, betrayal, and their desire to escape themselves.

'Ho Ly-Linh, Tien's mother, wasn't around for much of Tien's childhood. Left behind in a rapidly changing Vietnam, she risked everything to follow her family to Australia. Having spent so much of this dangerous journey alone, she is ready now to find love. On Saturday, 6 September 1997 they all meet at the Cheongs' house for the first time in years because Princess Diana is dead and their mothers have decided to hold a Dead Diana Dinner to watch the funeral on television. Nobody realises just how explosive this dinner will be, or how complicated life is going to get.

'This is a story of three families' discovery of the meaning of love and friendship.' [Source: publisher's website]

Notes

  • Dedication: For Thi Kim Uyen Truong - the best friend anyone could hope to have-and in memory of my late cousin, Raelene Hui Hoon Teo (1977-2004), who was much loved by family and friends, and who died during the writing of this novel.
  • Epigraph: A hundred years-in this life span on earth
    talent and destiny are apt to feud.
    You must go through a play of ebb and flow
    and watch such things as make you sick at heart.
    Is it so strange that losses balance gains?...
    By lamplight turn these scented leaves and read
    a tale of love recorded in old books.
    ( The Tale of Kieu, Nguyen Du)
  • Other formats: Also braille, e-book.

Affiliation Notes

  • Associated with the AustLit subset Australian Literary Responses to 'Asia' as the work contains Asian characters.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Crows Nest, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Allen and Unwin , 2005 .
      Extent: 372p.
      ISBN: 1741142431
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Soho Press , 2007 .
      Extent: 372p.
      ISBN: 9781569474402

Works about this Work

‘I Protest, Therefore I Am’ : Cosmo-Multiculturalism, Suburban Dreams, and Difference as Abjection in Hsu-Ming Teo’s Behind The Moon Emily Yu Zong , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Intercultural Studies , vol. 37 no. 3 2016; (p. 234-249)
'The Malaysian Australian writer Hsu-Ming Teo’s novel Behind the Moon depicts how conventional racism in multicultural Australia is re-enacted as a kind of cultural racism via the differentiation between a normative white culture and essentialised ethnic cultures. In particular, the novel portrays class as a cultural component mobilised to privilege middle-class and cosmo-multicultural culture over working-class and suburban culture. Such discursive shifts highlight the dynamic definition of minority status while, at the same time, reveal the limits of the imagined nation presumed as white. In my close reading of Teo’s narrative, ethnic subjects are captivated in a dialectic of protestation-abjection whereby old and new forms of cultural myths reproduce stereotyped difference and disarticulate ethnic self-delineation. The ideal of cosmo-multiculturalism, with its premise on a consumerist logic, immobilises difference as a fetishised object to be hailed, performed, savoured, but ultimately spat out undigested. Elaborating on contradictions within an ideology of liberal multiculturalism, I illustrate how the novel constitutes a re-signifying project that presents difference and abjection as transformative sources of national legitimacy.' (Publication abstract)
Identity and Friendship in Hsu-Ming Teo´s Behind the Moon (2000) Caty Ribas , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Coolabah , no. 16 2015; (p. 112-121)
' In her second novel, Behind the Moon (2000), Hsu-Ming Teo explores the identity construction of three teenage friends and how they defy the notion of the "ideal‟ Australian as a heterosexual, Protestant, white, English-speaking, Australian-born of British ancestry young adult person. Set in the western suburbs of Sydney in the 1990s, the three friends are an example of the multicultural society of the time: Justin Cheong, the son of a Chinese-Singaporean family who arrived in Australia with the Business Migration Programme; Tien Ho, a refugee girl of Chinese-Vietnamese and Afro-CajunCreole-American ancestry; and Nigel „Gibbo‟ Gibson, the son of an Anglo-Australian father and an English mother. The novel tackles different relations among these characters and their families during their teenage years and especially as young adults. This paper seeks to analyse the evolution of the identities of Justin, Tien and „Gibbo‟ through the notions of belonging, gender construction and sexuality. In order to do so, the main theories applied will be the insights on homosexuality and on masculinities of Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli (1995) and Raewyn W. Connell (1995) and Manuel Castellsʼ (2010) identity construction theory.' (Publication abstract)
'Unable to Think in My Mother’s Tongue’ : Immigrant Daughters in Alice Pung’s 'Unpolished Gem' and Hsu-Ming Teo’s 'Behind the Moon' Alice Healy , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Transnational Literature , May vol. 2 no. 2 2010;
Writing Chinese Diaspora : After the 'White Australia Policy' Deborah L. Madsen , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Down Under : Australian Literary Studies Reader 2009; (p. 263-270) Australian Made : A Multicultural Reader 2010; (p. 158-172)
An overview of Chinese-Australian writing.
The Exception That Proves the Rule? National Fear, Racial Loathing, Chinese Writing in 'UnAustralia' Deborah L. Madsen , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 23 no. 1 2009; (p. 17-22)
'In this essay I want to explore the idea that an exceptional cultural space, which I am calling 'unAustralia,' offers a deconstructive vantage point from which we can observe at work the normative ideological processes (the 'rules') that promote an experience of national belonging for some by excluding others.'
Exotic Pleasures Xavier Pons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Messengers of Eros : Representations of Sex in Australian Writing 2009; (p. 293-315)
An Interview with Dr. Hsu-Ming Teo Alison Broinowski (interviewer), 2009 single work interview
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 23 no. 2 2009; (p. 190-195)
Food, Race and the Power of Recuperative Identity Politics within Asian Australian Women's Fiction Robyn Morris , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , December vol. 32 no. 4 2008; (p. 499-508)
'This article considers the link between consumption, cuisine and agency in fiction by Asian Australian writers, Hsu-Ming Teo, Simone Lazaroo and Lillian Ng. It argues that the issue of whether these writers employ an oppositional poetics during the process of textualising or fictionalisng their experience and reactions to racialised and gendered practices can be addressed through an evaluation of their deployment of the food metaphor. In other words, do these writers challenge the assumption of a monolithic national identity in which Australian multiculturalism is equated with eating or tasting but disavowing the other?' (499)
Phantom Limbs and Cultural Ventriloquism : Communicating Cultural Difference as a Novelist Hsu-Ming Teo , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , December vol. 32 no. 4 2008; (p. 521-529)
'This essay considers the "phantom presences" that shadow attempts by novelists in contemporary Australia to communicate within and across cultures. Cross-cultural communication is haunted by "phantom limbs" in all sorts of ways: the phantom limb of the revenant white nation, the phantom limbs of various cultures migrants left behind, and the phantom limb of "home" - of "landscapes [which] ache in all places of departures". The essay explores technical issues of cultural representation - a process which ultimately cannot avoid problematic constructions of self-orientalising ethnicity. I explain the personal context through which my novels Love and Vertigo (2000) and Behind the Monn (2005) were produced and the historical context of the novels' publication. I then consider the content of multicultural/ethnic Australian fiction within the broader context of Australian history, looking at how this legacy - a legacy of phantom presences - shapes cross-cultural writing as well as responses to this genre of fiction.' (521)
Boutique Multiculturalism and the Consumption of Repulsion : Re-Disseminating Food Fictions in Malaysian and Singaporean Diasporic Novels Tamara S Wagner , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Journal of Commonwealth Literature , vol. 42 no. 1 2007; (p. 31-46)
This article argues that representations of repulsion and disgust regarding food in recent Singaporean and Malaysian fiction is reflective of 'the growing unease caused by the commercial and ideological exploitation of consumable multiculturalism' (32). The author reads the work of Hsu-Ming Teo, as well as that of Vyvyanne Loh and Josephine Chia to demonstrate how 'ironic displays of repulsive food' may 'counter Orientalization' (45).
'No Place Like Home' : The Ambivalent Rhetoric of Hospitality in the Work of Simone Lazaroo, Arlene Chai, and Hsu-Ming Teo Deborah L. Madsen , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Intercultural Studies , February vol. 27 no. 1-2 2006; (p. 117-132)
This essay addresses the 'neither here nor there' rhetoric of not belonging in Anglophone Chinese Australian literature.
'Growing up an Australian' : Renegotiating Mateship, Masculinity and 'Australianness' in Hsu-Ming Teo's Behind the Moon Robyn Morris , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Intercultural Studies , February vol. 27 no. 1-2 2006; (p. 151-166)
This essay focuses on the way in which the films Gallipoli (1981) and The Wizard of Oz (1939) are deployed in the novel, Behind the Moon (2005). Morris suggests that such a reading points to the 'collision between discourses of masculinity, mateship, nationhood and race' thereby providing a 'timely intervention in the debate about national identity'.
Towards an Australian 'Voice' Tony Smith , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 16 May vol. 16 no. 4 2006;

— Review of Butterfly Song Terri Janke 2005 single work novel ; Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Rice Queens and Baked Potatoes Rachel Slater , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Women's Book Review , vol. 18 no. 1 2006;

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Untitled Anne-Louise Sheehan , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Fiction Focus : New Titles for Teenagers , vol. 20 no. 1 2006; (p. 48)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Interview with Tsu-Ming Tao Hoa Pham (interviewer), 2005 single work interview
— Appears in: Peril : An Asian-Australian Journal , June no. 1 2006;
Untitled Graeme Moore , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Bookseller & Publisher , August vol. 85 no. 2 2005; (p. 24)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
The Secret Life of OZ Peter Pierce , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 23 August vol. 123 no. 6484 2005; (p. 68-69)

— Review of Sandstone Stephen Lacey 2005 single work novel ; Road Story Julienne Van Loon 2004 single work novel ; Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel ; The Grave at Thu Le Catherine Cole 2005 single work novel ; Fivestar Mardi McConnochie 2005 single work novel ; Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living Carrie Tiffany 2003 single work novel
Engaging Shine in Twists of Reflections Diane Stubbings , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 27 August 2005; (p. 17)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Two Tales of Home and Longing Nicola Robinson , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 3-4 September 2005; (p. 21)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Untitled Graeme Moore , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Bookseller & Publisher , August vol. 85 no. 2 2005; (p. 24)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
The Secret Life of OZ Peter Pierce , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 23 August vol. 123 no. 6484 2005; (p. 68-69)

— Review of Sandstone Stephen Lacey 2005 single work novel ; Road Story Julienne Van Loon 2004 single work novel ; Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel ; The Grave at Thu Le Catherine Cole 2005 single work novel ; Fivestar Mardi McConnochie 2005 single work novel ; Everyman's Rules for Scientific Living Carrie Tiffany 2003 single work novel
Engaging Shine in Twists of Reflections Diane Stubbings , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 27 August 2005; (p. 17)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Two Tales of Home and Longing Nicola Robinson , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 3-4 September 2005; (p. 21)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Grappling with Displaced Identities Liam Davison , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 10-11 September 2005; (p. 10)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Room to Move Suzanna Clarke , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Courier-Mail , 3 - 4 September 2005; (p. 6)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
What Lies Beneath Katharine England , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 24 September 2005; (p. 10)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel ; Sunnyside Joanna Murray-Smith 2005 single work novel
Friendship Rises Above the Challenges Amanda Dunn , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 1 October 2005; (p. 5)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
The Necessary Trap Lisa Gorton , 2005 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , November no. 276 2005; (p. 52-53)

— Review of There, Where the Pepper Grows Bem Le Hunte 2005 single work novel ; Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Towards an Australian 'Voice' Tony Smith , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Eureka Street , 16 May vol. 16 no. 4 2006;

— Review of Butterfly Song Terri Janke 2005 single work novel ; Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Rice Queens and Baked Potatoes Rachel Slater , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Women's Book Review , vol. 18 no. 1 2006;

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Untitled Anne-Louise Sheehan , 2006 single work review
— Appears in: Fiction Focus : New Titles for Teenagers , vol. 20 no. 1 2006; (p. 48)

— Review of Behind the Moon Hsu-Ming Teo 2005 single work novel
Interview with Tsu-Ming Tao Hoa Pham (interviewer), 2005 single work interview
— Appears in: Peril : An Asian-Australian Journal , June no. 1 2006;
Boutique Multiculturalism and the Consumption of Repulsion : Re-Disseminating Food Fictions in Malaysian and Singaporean Diasporic Novels Tamara S Wagner , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Journal of Commonwealth Literature , vol. 42 no. 1 2007; (p. 31-46)
This article argues that representations of repulsion and disgust regarding food in recent Singaporean and Malaysian fiction is reflective of 'the growing unease caused by the commercial and ideological exploitation of consumable multiculturalism' (32). The author reads the work of Hsu-Ming Teo, as well as that of Vyvyanne Loh and Josephine Chia to demonstrate how 'ironic displays of repulsive food' may 'counter Orientalization' (45).
'No Place Like Home' : The Ambivalent Rhetoric of Hospitality in the Work of Simone Lazaroo, Arlene Chai, and Hsu-Ming Teo Deborah L. Madsen , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Intercultural Studies , February vol. 27 no. 1-2 2006; (p. 117-132)
This essay addresses the 'neither here nor there' rhetoric of not belonging in Anglophone Chinese Australian literature.
'Growing up an Australian' : Renegotiating Mateship, Masculinity and 'Australianness' in Hsu-Ming Teo's Behind the Moon Robyn Morris , 2006 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Intercultural Studies , February vol. 27 no. 1-2 2006; (p. 151-166)
This essay focuses on the way in which the films Gallipoli (1981) and The Wizard of Oz (1939) are deployed in the novel, Behind the Moon (2005). Morris suggests that such a reading points to the 'collision between discourses of masculinity, mateship, nationhood and race' thereby providing a 'timely intervention in the debate about national identity'.
Food, Race and the Power of Recuperative Identity Politics within Asian Australian Women's Fiction Robyn Morris , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , December vol. 32 no. 4 2008; (p. 499-508)
'This article considers the link between consumption, cuisine and agency in fiction by Asian Australian writers, Hsu-Ming Teo, Simone Lazaroo and Lillian Ng. It argues that the issue of whether these writers employ an oppositional poetics during the process of textualising or fictionalisng their experience and reactions to racialised and gendered practices can be addressed through an evaluation of their deployment of the food metaphor. In other words, do these writers challenge the assumption of a monolithic national identity in which Australian multiculturalism is equated with eating or tasting but disavowing the other?' (499)
Phantom Limbs and Cultural Ventriloquism : Communicating Cultural Difference as a Novelist Hsu-Ming Teo , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Australian Studies , December vol. 32 no. 4 2008; (p. 521-529)
'This essay considers the "phantom presences" that shadow attempts by novelists in contemporary Australia to communicate within and across cultures. Cross-cultural communication is haunted by "phantom limbs" in all sorts of ways: the phantom limb of the revenant white nation, the phantom limbs of various cultures migrants left behind, and the phantom limb of "home" - of "landscapes [which] ache in all places of departures". The essay explores technical issues of cultural representation - a process which ultimately cannot avoid problematic constructions of self-orientalising ethnicity. I explain the personal context through which my novels Love and Vertigo (2000) and Behind the Monn (2005) were produced and the historical context of the novels' publication. I then consider the content of multicultural/ethnic Australian fiction within the broader context of Australian history, looking at how this legacy - a legacy of phantom presences - shapes cross-cultural writing as well as responses to this genre of fiction.' (521)
Writing Chinese Diaspora : After the 'White Australia Policy' Deborah L. Madsen , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Down Under : Australian Literary Studies Reader 2009; (p. 263-270) Australian Made : A Multicultural Reader 2010; (p. 158-172)
An overview of Chinese-Australian writing.
The Exception That Proves the Rule? National Fear, Racial Loathing, Chinese Writing in 'UnAustralia' Deborah L. Madsen , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 23 no. 1 2009; (p. 17-22)
'In this essay I want to explore the idea that an exceptional cultural space, which I am calling 'unAustralia,' offers a deconstructive vantage point from which we can observe at work the normative ideological processes (the 'rules') that promote an experience of national belonging for some by excluding others.'
Exotic Pleasures Xavier Pons , 2009 single work criticism
— Appears in: Messengers of Eros : Representations of Sex in Australian Writing 2009; (p. 293-315)
An Interview with Dr. Hsu-Ming Teo Alison Broinowski (interviewer), 2009 single work interview
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 23 no. 2 2009; (p. 190-195)
'Unable to Think in My Mother’s Tongue’ : Immigrant Daughters in Alice Pung’s 'Unpolished Gem' and Hsu-Ming Teo’s 'Behind the Moon' Alice Healy , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Transnational Literature , May vol. 2 no. 2 2010;
Identity and Friendship in Hsu-Ming Teo´s Behind the Moon (2000) Caty Ribas , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Coolabah , no. 16 2015; (p. 112-121)
' In her second novel, Behind the Moon (2000), Hsu-Ming Teo explores the identity construction of three teenage friends and how they defy the notion of the "ideal‟ Australian as a heterosexual, Protestant, white, English-speaking, Australian-born of British ancestry young adult person. Set in the western suburbs of Sydney in the 1990s, the three friends are an example of the multicultural society of the time: Justin Cheong, the son of a Chinese-Singaporean family who arrived in Australia with the Business Migration Programme; Tien Ho, a refugee girl of Chinese-Vietnamese and Afro-CajunCreole-American ancestry; and Nigel „Gibbo‟ Gibson, the son of an Anglo-Australian father and an English mother. The novel tackles different relations among these characters and their families during their teenage years and especially as young adults. This paper seeks to analyse the evolution of the identities of Justin, Tien and „Gibbo‟ through the notions of belonging, gender construction and sexuality. In order to do so, the main theories applied will be the insights on homosexuality and on masculinities of Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli (1995) and Raewyn W. Connell (1995) and Manuel Castellsʼ (2010) identity construction theory.' (Publication abstract)
‘I Protest, Therefore I Am’ : Cosmo-Multiculturalism, Suburban Dreams, and Difference as Abjection in Hsu-Ming Teo’s Behind The Moon Emily Yu Zong , 2016 single work criticism
— Appears in: Journal of Intercultural Studies , vol. 37 no. 3 2016; (p. 234-249)
'The Malaysian Australian writer Hsu-Ming Teo’s novel Behind the Moon depicts how conventional racism in multicultural Australia is re-enacted as a kind of cultural racism via the differentiation between a normative white culture and essentialised ethnic cultures. In particular, the novel portrays class as a cultural component mobilised to privilege middle-class and cosmo-multicultural culture over working-class and suburban culture. Such discursive shifts highlight the dynamic definition of minority status while, at the same time, reveal the limits of the imagined nation presumed as white. In my close reading of Teo’s narrative, ethnic subjects are captivated in a dialectic of protestation-abjection whereby old and new forms of cultural myths reproduce stereotyped difference and disarticulate ethnic self-delineation. The ideal of cosmo-multiculturalism, with its premise on a consumerist logic, immobilises difference as a fetishised object to be hailed, performed, savoured, but ultimately spat out undigested. Elaborating on contradictions within an ideology of liberal multiculturalism, I illustrate how the novel constitutes a re-signifying project that presents difference and abjection as transformative sources of national legitimacy.' (Publication abstract)
Last amended 29 Sep 2011 11:56:24
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