On Gold Mountain: The One-hundred-year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family

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Vintage Books, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 402 pages
11 Reviews
When she was a girl, Lisa See spent summers in the cool, dark recesses of her family's antiques store in Los Angeles's Chinatown. There, her grand-mother and great-aunt told her intriguing, colorful stories about their family's past - stories of missionaries, concubines, tong wars, glamorous nightclubs, and the determined struggle to triumph over racist laws and discrimination. They spoke of how Lisa's great-great-grandfather emigrated from his Chinese village to the United States; how his son followed him, married a Caucasian woman, and despite great odds, went on to become one of the most prominent Chinese on "Gold Mountain" (the Chinese name for the United States). As an adult, See spent five years collecting the details of her family's remarkable history. She interviewed nearly one hundred relatives - both Chinese and Caucasian, rich and poor - and pored over documents at the National Archives, the immigration office, and in countless attics, basements, and closets for the intimate nuances of her ancestors' lives.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JanaRose1 - LibraryThing

Lisa details the history of Fong See, his travels to America, the business he created, and his ever growing family. In a time where Chinese were used as immigrant laborers, Fong See built a business ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Grandy - LibraryThing

Excellent book, so interesting about the early lives of the people that came to CA to help build the RR, I would recommend this book to anyone that likes to read about the early days of our beloved country. Some part are heartbreaking but it all goes to show that laws need to be followed. Read full review

Contents

Immigration 190213
76
Family Days 191418
87
The Home Village 191920
110
Playboys 192024
135
The Kidnapping 192528
156
Depression 192934
172
PART IV
197
Snapshots 193638
209
Hollow Bamboo 194647
277
Fire 194750
292
PART VI
320
Family Means Everything 195795
343
Epilogue
379
Acknowledgments
387
Copyright

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About the author (1995)

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.

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