The Golden Mountain: Beyond the American Dream
In "Golden Mountain," Irene Kai tells a deeply personal story of how she overcame cultural bias and a difficult mother to move from China to America and become an independent woman. The child of a loveless arranged marriage, Kai was born into a culture where women were told to accept their fate and not question authority. Beginning with her great-grandmother, Wong Oi, who was humiliated by her husband's concubine, Kai traces the lives of women in her family through three generations until she reaches her own childhood. As a teen, Kai was brought to New York City by her American-born mother and began to rebel against her mother's physical and psychological abuses. In New York, she also discovered art, sexuality, and herself. Finding the strength to prosper in the "Golden Mountain," Kai made her own life and became truly independent, but she could not forget from where she came--in a poignant finale, Kai comes to terms with the family she left behind. An uplifting, unpredictable story, "Golden Mountain" is a book about overcoming, and coming to terms with, one's culture.
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Ah Ying America American-born Chinese apartment Ashland asked aunts breath bride building called chair China Chinatown Chinese Choi Kum chopsticks concubine cried daugh daughter David dinner door everything eyes face father felt floor friends front girl Golden Mountain Grandfather Grandmother Great-grandmother hair hand happy head heard herbalist Hong Kai's Hong Kong husband Irene James junior common room kitchen knew Kum's laughed learned leave live looked Louise mahjong maid Margaret married matchmaker middle common room morning Mother needed never Oi Ling picked play pulled red envelope restaurant second elder sister silk smiled someone soon stared started stay stood street talk tell Teresa thought told took turned upstairs waited walked watched wedding weeks wife woman women Wong Oi yelled