Education: Holds a Ph.D.
Home—Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Journalist and writer. Commonwealth Hansard Reporters Forum, Australia, reporter.
(With Mark O'Brien) How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man's Quest for Independence, University of Wisconsin Press (Madison, WI), 2003.
Mr. Ding's Chicken Feet: On a Slow Boat from Shanghai to Texas (travel memoir), Terrace Books (Madison, WI), 2006.
Contributor of short story to Student Body. Contributor to Australian periodicals, including the Sun, Curve, Girlfriends, Glamour and SurfMetro.
Gillian Kendall is an American journalist and writer whose first book, How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man's Quest for Independence, was written with the late Mark O'Brien and tells of O'Brien's life as a paraplegic. Her next book, Mr. Ding's Chicken Feet: On a Slow Boat from Shanghai to Texas, is a travel memoir in which Kendall writes about a job she had teaching English on a Chinese engineering ship as it sailed from Shanghai to Texas. The author recounts her experiences as only one of three English-speaking people on board the ship. In semi-isolation for most of the six-week voyage because of the language barrier, the author also explores her own thoughts about what life may hold for her as well as her views on culture and the food prepared by the ship's cook, Mr. Ding. "Kendall's writing makes this travel memoir a rollicking and quick read," wrote Lisa N. Johnston in the Library Journal. Alida Becker, writing in the New York Times, commented: "Kendall's energetic yet unvarnished style … settles comfortably into appealing descriptions of shipboard life and her growing rapport with the crew." A Publishers Weekly contributor referred to Mr. Ding's Chicken Feet as a "swift and eventful memoir."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kendall, Gillian, Mr. Ding's Chicken Feet: On a Slow Boat from Shanghai to Texas, Terrace Books (Madison, WI), 2006.
Booklist, November 1, 2006, Sarah Watstein, review of Mr. Ding's Chicken Feet, p. 17.
Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2006, review of Mr. Ding's Chicken Feet, p. 712.
Library Journal, October 15, 2006, Lisa N. Johnston, review of Mr. Ding's Chicken Feet, p. 77.
New York Times, December 3, 2006, Alida Becker, review of Mr. Ding's Chicken Feet.
Paraplegia News, August, 2003, review of How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man's Quest for Independence, p. 53.
Publishers Weekly, July 31, 2006, review of Mr. Ding's Chicken Feet, p. 64.
Gillian Kendall Home Page,http://www.gilliankendall.com (March 19, 2007).