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The Gangster We Are All Looking For’: Chapter Four “the bones of birds”

Chapter Synopsis

Yellow Spider Lily: Stunning flowers, growing from a bulb. ~0.5m tall

Above: Yellow Spider Lily: Stunning flowers, growing from a bulb. ~0.5m tall Amaryllidaceae family Lycoris aurea Native to Asia (China, Vietnam,Thailand ) They are the most unpredictable of bulbs, seeming to be quite affected by seasonal factors, but when they do appear, they are spectacular. The flower spikes appear suddenly in February-March (autumn in Australia), seeming to come up overnight from nowhere! No wonder in Mandarin it called hu di xiao, literally meaning "suddenly the earth smiles". Leaves appear after flowering.

The narrator runs away from home and heads to the East Coast. Ba finds a new job mowing lawns and one day he digs a trench in someone's lawn without permission. The narrator returns one night, and Ba reveals he is in trouble.

Important Elements of Chapter Four

Specific Quotations Regarding the Father's Character:

Page 100: “It was my father who taught me how to do this, how to keep moving even when a bone in the leg was broken or a muscle in the chest was torn.”

Page 107: “The year I left home, my father and I would sit at the kitchen table in the evenings and pass the silence back and forth, like smoke.”

Page 108: “Where he would go in his mind, I don’t know.”

Page 122: “Between us now there hangs the familiar smoke . . . He made himself small, so that in the world there was very little left of him, even while within me his hunger grew.”

Specific Quotations Regarding Language:

Page 112: “He listened to his English-language tapes . . . ‘Hello,’ he said to a bag of flour.’”

Page 114: “He used to walk around the house and mutter the spelling of his name in English...”

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