Skip to Main Content (Press Enter)

Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related.

Best Seller
Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related. by Jenny Heijun Wills
Paperback $15.50
Feb 16, 2021 | ISBN 9780771070914

Buy from Other Retailers:

See All Formats (3) +
  • Feb 16, 2021 | ISBN 9780771070914

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Sep 17, 2019 | ISBN 9780771070891

    Buy from Other Retailers:

  • Sep 17, 2019 | ISBN 9780771070907

    Buy from Other Retailers:

Buy the Audiobook Download:

Product Details


* Finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
* Winner of the Eileen McTavish Sykes Award for Best First Book (a Manitoba Book Award)

* One of Globe and Mail‘s Best Book of 2019
* A CBC Best Canadian Non-Fiction of 2019
* A Winnipeg Free Press choice for top 10 best Manitoba books of last decade

Finely observed, meticulous, and candid, this memoir offers its subjects no easy redemptions, only the chance to grow together towards greater understanding. Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related. captures Canada at its richest, deeply rooted in home while also very much part of the world.” —2019 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury

“Reflecting on that which families, in various incarnations, might owe to each other, Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related forges and mourns familial bonds in necessarily relatable and devastatingly exceptional ways.”—Nyala Ali, Winnipeg Free Press

“One of the most courageous, moving and achingly beautiful memoirs I’ve ever read. Jenny Heijun Wills brings uniquely to voice the complex emotional landscapes of transnational adoption. Her book represents an urgent and wide-reaching social question in the most luminously intimate terms.” —David Chariandy, author of Brother

“In Older Sister, Wills has made a searching, fearless mix of memoir and fiction to do the impossible: to put a story together of her family and herself, made out of the mix of rumor and fact, lost, found and false left for a Korean adoptee. Much the way she invented herself, she invents the story here, locating her authenticity ultimately in herself. An electric meditation on connection, culture and desire.” —Alexander Chee, author of How to Write an Autobiographical Novel
“Adoption is a complex, provocative issue. Mix it with differences in race, nationality, and culture, and adoption becomes volatile. Jenny Heijun Wills is exactly the person we need to write about this volatility. Smart, critical, and edgy, Wills brings a sensitive, historically informed, and intersectional consciousness to this topic. The result is an urgent and necessary book.” —Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Sympathizer

Older Sister by Jenny Heijun Wills will resonate with anyone who has grappled with their identity, their definition of family, their roots. Who has wondered who am I and how did I get here? In excavating the common human condition of not fitting in, Wills’s memoir reveals a unique mind, and more than once I found myself remembering the story of The Ugly Duckling, and better understanding my own search for belonging and becoming.” —Yasuko Thanh, Mistakes to Run With  

“Jenny Heijun Wills has no interest in easy answers or comforting fictions. She sees herself and the world around her with an unsparing, incisive clarity, rendering her experiences in their full complexity, horror, and beauty. Older Sister is a memoir of lasting power, a vivid and intimate story of urgent, far-reaching consequence.” —Kim Fu, author of The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore


Eileen Sykes McTavish Award WINNER 2020

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize WINNER 2019

Looking for More Great Reads?
21 Books You’ve Been Meaning to Read
Get the latest updates about Jenny Heijun Wills
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
And go from well-read to best read with book recs, deals and more in your inbox every week.
By clicking “SIGN UP”, I acknowledge that I have read and agree to Penguin Random House’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use and understand that Penguin Random House collects certain categories of personal information for the purposes listed in that policy, discloses, sells, or shares certain personal information and retains personal information in accordance with the policy. You can opt-out of the sale or sharing of personal information anytime.
Something awesome is on its way.
Back to Top