Cover image for The fortunes
Title:
The fortunes
Author:
Davies, Peter Ho, 1966- , author.
Publication Information:
Boston ; New York : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.
Physical Description:
268 pages ; 24 cm
Summary:
The Fortunes reimagines the traditional multigenerational novel through the lens of immigrant experience. The family institution is revered in Chinese culture, but the historical reality of Chinese Americans has seen family bonds denied, fragmented, or imperiled. The Fortunes uses this history from the bachelor society of the gold rush era to laws against interracial marriage to the recent wave of adopted baby girls to create a portrait of a community whose line of descent is broken, yet which has tenaciously persisted, as much through love as by blood. Through four lives a railroad baron's valet who unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor, Hollywood's first Chinese movie star, a victim of a hate crime that mobilizes Asian Americans, and a biracial writer visiting China for an adoption--this novel captures and capsizes over a century of our history. These stories, three of which are inspired by real historical characters, examines the process of becoming not only Chinese American, but American.

A community survives as much through love as blood. Ah Ling, son of a prostitute and a white man, is sent from his homeland to make his way alone in California; he rises to valet for a powerful railroad baron and unwittingly ignites an explosion in Chinese labor. Anna May Wong, the first Chinese film star in Hollywood, is forbidden to kiss a white man on screen; she must find her place between two worlds and two cultures. The death of Vincent Chin, aspiring all-American, becomes the symbol for a community roused to action in the face of hatred. John Ling Smith, half-Chinese, visits China for the first time to adopt a baby girl; there he sees the long history of both cultures coming together in the spark of a new century.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780544263703
Format :
Book

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