Thousand Pieces of Gold

Front Cover
Beacon Press, Aug 25, 2004 - Fiction - 349 pages
8 Reviews
A reissue of the classic biographical novel that has sold more than 200,000 copies

Lalu Nathoy’s father calls his thirteen-year-old daughter his treasure, his “thousand pieces of gold,” yet when famine strikes northern China in 1871, he is forced to sell her. She is sold first to a brothel, then to a slave merchant bound for America. In a new country, she is given the name Polly and eventually auctioned to a saloonkeeper. When admirer Charlie Bemis wins her in a poker game, he frees her from her enslavement and eventually proposes marriage. The two live out their days on a bountiful farm, a homestead called Polly’s Place in Salmon Canyon, Idaho.

This masterfully told biographical novel is the true story of an extraordinary woman’s successful fight for independence and respect in the early American West.

“Lalu comes to life and transfixes the reader with her story of struggle and survival . . . Lalu/Polly was a remarkable pioneer woman—a new heroine of the American West—and we can thank McCunn for bringing her to life in such a moving and inspirational way.” —Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, San Francisco Chronicle

“A valuable book that gives Chinese Americans another true heroine.” —Maxine Hong Kingston

“Lalu Nathoy’s courageous journey is an important contribution to the history of pioneer women.” —Ms. Magazine
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JanaRose1 - LibraryThing

Lalu, or Polly, as she is later called, is sold by her father when famine strikes China in the 1870’s. Sold to a merchant bound for America, Lalu is auctioned off to the highest bidder. The ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LynnB - LibraryThing

This novel is based on a real person, Polly Bemis. Polly was sold by her desparate father in China, and brought to America where she was auctioned off to a saloon-keeper in the then-pioneer stat of ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

I
13
II
21
III
28
IV
36
V
43
VI
51
VII
59
VIII
69
XXI
186
XXII
194
XXIII
201
XXIV
207
XXV
214
XXVI
223
XXVII
229
XXVIII
236

IX
78
X
91
XI
104
XII
113
XIII
119
XIV
128
XV
137
XVI
146
XVII
151
XVIII
158
XIX
167
XX
180
XXIX
242
XXX
248
XXXI
255
XXXII
264
XXXIII
270
XXXIV
279
XXXV
286
XXXVI
292
XXXVII
297
XXXVIII
303
XXXIX
308
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About the author (2004)

Ruthanne Lum McCunn writes about the Chinese on both sides of the Pacific. Her award-winning books include The Moon Pearl and, most recently, Chinese Yankee. McCunn's work has been translated into thirteen languages, published in twenty-two countries, and adapted for stage and screen. She lives in San Francisco.

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