On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family by Lisa See
Published February 7, 2012 by Vintage, Reprint Edition
Chapter 1: The Wonder Time 1866-71
Fong Dun Shung hoisted his God Mountain bag on to his shoulder and nodded one last time to his wife, daughter, and Number One and Number Four sons.He turned, and began the half-day's walk to Fatsan where he would board a sampan and float east through the Pearl River Delta to the big city of Canton. Then south to Hong Kong, where he would board a ship for Gam Saan, the Gold Mountain. Fong Dun Shung and his second and third sons padded single file among the raised pathways that divided the pale green rice fields that lay just outside the protective wall of Dimtao. How long, he wondered, would it be before they returned home?page 56:
Letticie supposed it was natural that one thing would lead to another. Hard work to success. Loneliness to happiness. Friendship to love. On January 15, 1897, Letticie Pruett of Central Point, Oregon, and Fong See, the fourth son of a Chinese herbalist, were wed. They went to a lawyer to draw up the papers for a contract marriage. Their union would be recognized by the state as a contract between two individuals, since California forbade interracial marriages.Book 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. (amazon)
Fascinating history and memoir. This book started the author on her road to writing many more books on China, historical fiction.