About the Book
Cafe Daughter is a one-woman drama inspired by a true story about a Chinese-Cree girl growing up in Saskatchewan in the 1950s and 60s.
Charlie Wong emigrated from China to rural Saskatchewan, where he opened a restaurant. But provincial law prevented Charlie from hiring white women to work for him. Katherine, a young Cree woman from a nearby reserve, took a job at the cafe. In time, the two fell in love, married, and had a daughter–Yvette.
The story begins in 1957, as nine-year-old Yvette Wong helps out in her parents’ cafe in Alistair, Saskatchewan. She’s incredibly bright but has been placed in the slow learners’ class because of her skin colour. Her mother Katherine, who was forced to attend a residential school, is conflicted about her identity and has charged Yvette with a secret–to never tell anyone she’s part Cree. Yvette has dreams that her mother nourishes, but when Katherine dies and Yvette and her father move to Saskatoon, Yvette must try to pursue her dreams alone, carving a path uniquely her own.
News & Reviews
“We want to hug and comfort the scared little girl, laugh with the rebellious First Nation girlfriend, knock down the insensitive bullies, rage at the thoughtless teachers who discriminate and put down the dreams of youth… Cafe Daughter is a poignant, stirring and funny look at one girl’s journey to realize that potential.” —What’s Up Yukon
About the Author
Kenneth T. Williams is a Cree playwright, filmmaker and journalist from the George Gordon First Nation. His plays Cafe Daughter, Thunderstick (Scirocco 2010), Bannock Republic (Scirocco 2011), Suicide Notes and Three Little Birds have been professionally produced across Canada. Gordon Winter had its world premiere in Saskatoon in 2010 as the opening play for Persephone Theatre’s Deep End series. It then went on to further acclaim in May, 2012 when it was presented again at Ottawa’s Arts Court Theatre as part of the National Arts Centre’s Prairie Scene festival. Thunderstick has recently been optioned as feature film project. In 2011, Gordon Winter was nominated for a Saskatoon and Area Theatre Award for outstanding playwriting and Cafe Daughter won Bob Couchman Theatre Awards for outstanding production, direction and female performance in Whitehorse. He’s working on a new play, Deserters, which was presented at the 2011 Weesageechak Begins to Dance festival. He blogs about his playwriting adventures on his website feralplaywright.ca. He also teaches playwriting at the University of Saskatchewan. As well as writing plays, Kenneth has edited three series for television. He is the first Aboriginal writer to earn an M.F.A. in playwriting from the University of Alberta. He resides in Saskatoon.