The Fortunes

The Fortunes

Book - 2016
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Ah Ling: son of a prostitute and a white 'ghost', dispatched from Hong Kong as a boy to make his way alone in 1860s California. Anna Mae Wong: the first Chinese film star in Hollywood, forbidden to kiss a white man on screen. Vincent Chin: killed by a pair of Detroit auto workers in 1982 simply for looking Japanese. John Ling Smith: a half-Chinese writer visiting China for the first time, to adopt a baby girl. Inspired by three figures who lived at pivotal moments in Chinese-American history, and drawing on his own mixed-race experience, Peter Ho Davies plunges us into what it is like to feel, and be treated, like a foreigner in the country you call home. Ranging from the mouth of the Pearl River to the land of golden opportunity, this remarkable novel spans 150 years to tell a tale of familial bonds denied and fragmented, of tenacity and pride, of prejudice and the universal need to belong.
Publisher: London : 2016. Sceptre,
ISBN: 9780340980248
Branch Call Number: AF DAVI

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andrea.klock
Jun 28, 2017

An insightful range of stories of Chinese-Americans from the hopefuls arriving for the gold rush, to modern issues of race and identity. While seemingly disconnected upon their initial expositions, the four parts work beautifully together to weave a narrative of identity and what it means to be Chinese and American.

A lovely read, highly recommended for history enthusiasts.

u
uncommonreader
Jun 10, 2017

Davies chronicles the Chinese American experience from the mid-19th century to the present day through four stories. The first three are imaginative re-imaginings of the lives of three Chinese orphans - a railway worker, a film star and a young man whose murder brings together the American Asian community. The final story is of a writer who has gone with his wife to China to adopt an orphan and who, it is revealed, has written the other stories. An interesting, timely and enjoyable book about disconnection.

b
brangwinn
Feb 05, 2017

In the stories of 4 Chinese Americans, Peter Ho Davies has create a story of the Chinese in America. The stories can be read as stand-alone books, as there is no relationship between the characters, but by picking and choosing what you read, the meaning of the books will be missed, that of not fitting in.

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