Playing House


ISBN: 9781921924170 Format: Trade paperback 256pp Rights: All rights: Transit Lounge Release / Publication Date: 01 /04 /2012

This project has been assisted by the Australian government through the Australia Council for the Arts, its arts funding and advisory body.


Playing House is a rare pleasure – a warm and humorous memoir in three parts that subtly reveals what it means to create a family. Firstly working and travelling in Europe, then settling in inner city Melbourne and becoming caregivers to Lydia − a troubled teenager who tests the limits of friendship − and lastly parenthood and returning to visit family in Hong Kong. At its heart it is a story of an enduring relationship between an Asian-Australian and an Australian.

Playing House is elegant and insightful, the sort of book that makes you realise love can be uncomplicated and it’s the people you surround yourself with and the blessings in disguise that make life sweet.

‘A unique, moving and human memoir of love, family, travel and cats.’ Mark Dapin

‘Amy Choi’s voice is sassy, smart and spirited as she guides you through places exhilaratingly foreign and yet comfortingly familiar.’ Alice Pung

Amy Choi was born in Melbourne in 1975. She has worked as a counter hand, in customer service, as an usher, foster carer, freelance writer and columnist. She lives in country Victoria with her partner and two children.

You can visit her at

HOOK:  A heartfelt and funny memoir about relationships, travel and love. 

‘HIGHLIGHTS: On the surface, the concept of reading a memoir from a twenty- or thirty- something jars. Barring child stars, sports people and those who have experienced life or death situations, how much could there be to say? Yet Amy Choi’s memoir is a delight. The young Asian-Australian takes readers through the three different phases of her life, starting with her years combining work and travel around Europe, then her move to the inner suburbs of Melbourne where she cared for a troubled teenager, then finally the biggest journey of all, becoming a parent. Woven through it all are her most important relationships – with her Aussie partner and with her family, back in Hong Kong.

SUITS: Anyone after a gentle, feel good true story.

VERDICT: A real surprise package. Beautifully written, with lots of laughs and insights about cultures, values and lessons learnt. It’s a heart-warming read about appreciating what we have and being grateful for our blessings.’  

TAKE 5 Magazine