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On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews


This is the story of Lisa See's family: of her great-grandfather's immigration in the 1870s from a Chinese village to California and his improbable rise as a successful. businessman; of his forbidden interracial marriage to See's Caucasian grandmother; of the family's journey throughout the 20th century in Los Angeles' Chinatown. As a skilled storyteller, Ms. See offers drama, tension, and a compelling characterization to her memoir, incorporating family stories with historical detail drawn from contemporaneous journalism. Best known for her successful historical novels (Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, among others), this earlier volume, published in 1995, is a fast paced and compelling read. We in the East often forget the parallel history that occurred "out West". Become more enlightened with On Gold Mountain.

— From Fay's favorites

Description


In 1867, Lisa See's great-great-grandfather arrived in America, where he prescribed herbal remedies to immigrant laborers who were treated little better than slaves. His son Fong See later built a mercantile empire and married a Caucasian woman, in spite of laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Lisa herself grew up playing in her family's antiques store in Los Angeles's Chinatown, listening to stories of missionaries and prostitutes, movie stars and Chinese baseball teams.
With these stories and her own years of research, Lisa See chronicles the one-hundred-year-odyssey of her Chinese-American family, a history that encompasses racism, romance, secret marriages, entrepreneurial genius, and much more, as two distinctly different cultures meet in a new world.

About the Author


Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of Shanghai Girls, Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net (an Edgar Award nominee), The Interior and Dragon Bones. She wrote the libretto for the Los Angeles Opera adaptation of On Gold Mountain and served as curator for the Autry Museum of Western Heritage's exhibit On Gold Mountain: A Chinese American Experience, also featured at the Smithsonian Institute. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles.

Praise For…


"Lovingly rendered. . . . A vivid tableau of a family and an era." --People

"Terrific stuff. . . . The See family's adventures would be incredible if On Gold Mountain were fiction." --The New York Times Book Review

"Weaves together fascinating family anecdotes, imaginative details, and the historical details of immigrant life. . . . Enviably entertaining." --Amy Tan

"Astonishing. . . . as engagingly readable as any novel. . . . comprehensive and exhaustively researched." --Los Angeles Times Book Review

Product Details
ISBN: 9780307950390
ISBN-10: 0307950395
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: February 7th, 2012
Pages: 402
Language: English