Thousand Pieces of Gold
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 ReviewUser 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 ReviewUser 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