on gold mountain book review

May 2019. Though I would not recommend it to anyway as an fast and enjoyable read, it is clear Lisa See put a lot of effort into the research and story of her family's history. It is mainly a story, not a history, yet this Angeleno spent. The language is clear and lovely. On Gold Mountain was a non-fiction book about Lisa See's family history. As children grow up they often grow apart. Through research and talking to relatives, she has been able to trace back the beginnings of her family in America, when her great grandfather arrived from China when he was still in his teens, and pretty much uneducated. Too smart to be just coolie labor, he becomes a merchant fairly quickly, then soon expands his business to sveral shops and factories. Visits to China take in the life of poor villagers at the turn of the 20th century. In "On Gold Mountain," published by St. Martin's Press this month, a man and woman meet, fall in bed and marry. If you are researching family histories about the Chinese as a growing factor in California culture in the 19th and 20th century, this book will give you material. It begins with the story of Fong See's immigration to the United States and his efforts to make himself a success. Despite some unanswered questions, a copiously researched history and a page-turning read. As it progressed it was of particular interest to me, being from Los Angeles, to read about the development of Chinatown. In all the most amazing part of the book for me was the marriage between Fong See and Letticie Pruitt. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. This took me a long time to finish (as in, months), but i really enjoyed it. We’d love your help. On Gold Mountain was a non-fiction book about Lisa See's family history. Detailed and illuminating view of the Chinese immigration experience in the United States. In order to survive, the Chinese were hired to do the backbreaking wor. This book is a great story of how the Chinese influenced the growth of our Country so the USA became "from sea to shining sea". I wish everyone was given a fair shake in life regardless of your ethnic background. Think of a river not a tree and you'll love it, Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2019. In her first book, On Gold Mountain, she uncovered in her family tree a capsule history of the Sino-American diaspora: her great-grandfather, Fong See, founded a California business, married a … She takes me along in the telling of her people lives and how they lived in California traveling from China in 1871 and how terribly the Chinese immigrants were taken advantage of, the Chinese men built the railroad, and since their lives were of little value by the Caucasians thousands of Chinese men gave their lives working in inhuman conditions to complete that railroad. This is how I've felt my entire life. Giving this book 4 stars honors the research and the incredible saga it unfolds. She interviewed nearly one hundred relatives - both Chinese and Caucasian, rich and poor - and pored over documents at the National Archives, the immigration office, and in countless attics, basements, and closets for the intimate nuances of her ancestors' lives. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in, Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2017. Unique as a book written by one of several extraordinary "Caucasian" women who helped build businesses and make homes for their Chinese families. I got to learn about Fong and Letticie See, Lisa See's great-great-grandfather and great-great- grandmother Letticie. Chinese people at the time were not allowed to marry Caucasians, (many married in Mexico), families were not allowed to come to America from China due to immigration laws and horrendous American interrogations. He opens several stores and marries an American women. On one hand, you see the harsh treatment of indentured servants toiling on the railroads and the racism evident in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and during World War II. I have read some of See's fictional work and have always been a bit confused bc they seem to glorify the "olden days" in China prior to the Cultural Revolution (which I'm sure is worth glorifying in a political & social sense). But their courtship winds through 15 pages, several letters, dates and … The problem I find most with the book is that is was not written to entertain. On Gold Mountain is the history of the See family and like most histories it is most interesting to the one telling it. August 27th 1996 Many images of early Los Angeles and Hollywood linger after the final page - little Lisa retreating to her grandparents house in Chinatown, Anna Mae Wong holding court in the See family restaurant, antique furniture rented to the studios for films. Now when we watch those old black-and-white movies set in Chinatown from the 30s through the 40s we're on the lookout for sets created from the riches of the See family antique shops. However, the prose is difficult to read. Lisa See does in depth research even for her novels. A true story, it reads like fiction. Her books include, “You can’t learn about living unless you live. A non-fiction family saga about coming to the US from China and the experience of being an immigrant in America. In reality, little money was sent "home," and families were separated for years on end. By Lisa See. I love this book because it made me look at the immigration issue in a new way. He opens … Hey friendssssss!! etc. I've been a Lisa See fan since Snow Flower and the Secret Fan but hadn't read her family's story. I took it as sort of a fictionalized memoir, like the Little House books. His son, Fong See, however, had a good head for business, and became one of the only respected Chinese citizens living in Chinatown. I love Lisa See's fiction and I found this memoir interesting. A very entertaining and interesting family story, although I wasn't crazy about the writing style, which occasionally reminded me of The Boxcar Children (which is a fine and dandy writing style when you're writing for elementary school students, but this one was full of whores and opium). Book reviews ★ Ghosts of Gold Mountain Gordon H. Chang Review by Sarojini Seupersad. Still, a dissenting opinion at least makes for an … Along the way, he and succeeding generations marry white American girls. If you happen to be a member of the See family you will find this fascinating. It's amazing to read many of the political speeches given in the early part of the 20th century about the Chinese and then to realize that many are saying the exact same things about some of the immigrants coming over today. When she was a girl, Lisa See spent summers in the cool, dark recesses of her family's antiques store in Los Angeles's Chinatown. Quick Plot: Fong See, the family patriarch, immigrated to the United States just after the completion of the railroad … There, her grand-mother and great-aunt told her intriguing, colorful stories about their family's past - stories of missionaries, concubines, tong wars, glamorous nightclubs, and the determined struggle to triumph over racist laws and discrimina. The book is interesting in that the story is highly unique and new. You can see yourself walking the streets of Chinatown, as it forms and grows over the years. The book was spotty. A recurring theme in Lisa’s books—and it started with On Gold Mountain —is lost women’s history and stories. The amount of research that went into this is somewhat mind boggling. This was an unheard of union at the time and must have required a bravery on both their parts. The first person to come over to America was an herbalist. This was my introduction to Lisa See, an affair that is enduring and endearing. The book … It tells a story, but there is no quick, engaging plot. The See family’s adventures would be incredible if On Gold Mountain were fiction.” –The New York Times Book Review “Weaves together fascinating family anecdotes, imaginative details, and the historical … Note: Keep a list of who is who and who sounds like who, or you will get very confused. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. They fought prejudice and discrimination, and went on to raise children who became successful too. I especially liked the first sections about railroads and the family establishing their stores. You are Chinese American.'" “Ghosts of Gold Mountain is a treasure trove of stories, and of exciting scholarship that answers questions many of us have asked for decades. This was a fascinating read as I was very uninformed regarding the plight of the Chinese immigrants who helped to establish this country. It’s the sort of book I’d like to write about my own family history. Her first book, On Gold Mountain: The One Hundred Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family (1995), was a national bestseller and a New York Times Notable Book. There's one takeaway quote I have from Mrs. Leong to her children: "'Youre more or less ambassadors. I just seem to bog down in non-fiction. Gold Mountain, the west coast in America, was supposedly filled with gold, and that truth/rumor drew multitudes of people from America and overseas to the west. Parts of it were very compelling and read like a novel. She is a real strong, determined woman that I loved reading about her. On Golden Mountain was her first book and is the story of her family’s immigration to the US from China in the mid-19th Century. There's a problem loading this menu right now. Cold Mountain is a novel by Charles Frazier that was first published in 1997. I wanted to compare technique. It begins with the story of Fong See's immigration to the United States and his efforts to make himself a success. The story is fascinating as the family grows, moves in different directions to create a dynasty for this Chinese family in America. It begins with the story of Fong See's immigration to the United States and his efforts to make himself a success. Nevertheless, for the most part, I found it an interesting read because the author has many colorful characters in her family and she described them well. This took me a long time to finish (as in, months), but i really enjoyed it. I had read a NY Times review for Flower Net - one of her more recent works, but what really intrigued me was the reference to this book, so I put it in my Kindle Q, and I'm so glad I did. On Golden Mountain was her first book and is the story of her family’s immigration to the US from China in the mid-19th Century. that to survive and even thrive was an amazing achi. You marvel at how visionary and bold they were. I have read almost all of Lisa See's books, so it only made sense for me to read about the true story concerning the past generations in her family tree. The book was spotty. Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2014. You can still see all customer reviews for the product. Some of the t. I love this book because it made me look at the immigration issue in a new way. Although it took me forever to get through this book, I found it a fascinating read and something that I'll never forget. This seems to be one of her earliest books and it's the immigration and assimilation story of the Chinese and Chinese mixed with Caucasion part of her family. It is heartbreaking how awful Chinese immigrants were treated in the last 100 years in America. The political and cultural environment is so vividly painted around these people that you can feel their hopes and struggles. He opens several stores and marries an American women. (although I got my usual agitation reading about the cavalier. See gives us a vivid, sometimes startling glimpse into a community that’s often overlooked in history books… Having read "Snow Flower and the Secret Fan" and "Peony in Love", I looked forward to reading "On Gold Mountain" by Lisa See. Reviewed in the United States on February 14, 2019. I suspect much of this carefully assembled information will be new to most readers. I have visited the Railroad Museum in Sacramento. Welcome back. Start by marking “On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family” as Want to Read: Error rating book. She missed a gem. Well done Lisa See. I'm looking forward to that. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. … Lisa See was born in Paris but grew up in Los Angeles, spending much of her time in Chinatown. Without them California may not have become a State and Mexico, Britain or Russia might have been able to claim it. A Different Mirror: Part 2, Chapter 8: Searching for Gold Mountain Summary & Analysis Next. Gold Mountain…book review #19. Immigrants are always looked at as a burden but they have always proven the doubters wrong in the past. The patriarch works on the railroad that was being built from California east to Utah where the eastern tracks were joined with the western to create the first cross country railroad. What an amazing story of ambition, love, family honor and tenacity - over many generations. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. Lots of interesting history told along with the family stories. For generations of Chinese, "Shangri La" was a place they called Gold Mountain, Reviewed in the United States on December 16, 2016. In this necessary historical text, Stanford University history professor Gordon … Positive reviews will receive an "Indie Books We Love" Badge for use with their book. We grew up visiting LA's Chinatown often but, after reading Lisa's book, it's no longer "just Chinatown, Jake," and is now a whole new marvelous place peopled with folks we now know much better, at least in memory. Fong See opened up many stores and profited greatly. The family also experiences the "rags to riches" story of financial success in their new country, so the overall story is one of hopes and dreams fulfilled in addition to pain and loss. This is an interesting story of an extended Chinese/American family and early days in California. This is where her family history begins. Lisa also wrote a libretto based … You can see yourself walking the streets of Chinatown, as it forms and grows over the years. The deck was so stacked against Chinese immigrants then and for the next almost 100 years (immigration almost impossible once the railroad was complete, almost impossible for women to immigrate, illegal to marry a white person, illegal to own property, couldn't become a citizen, etc. People are going to watch your conduct and the way you talk. Now I understand them to be really just meeting a demand that was created from back when Chinatowns were first created -- as a cultural hub for Chinese immigrants but also for folks who wanted a taste of that culture. Lisa See is a Chinese-American author. Fong See and his wife escaped much of the prejudice that Chinese families faced because they had amassed quite a fortune. Approximately 400 pages of family history from Lisa See's great great grandfathers immigration to work on the transcontinetal railroad to her latest sojourn to the small Chinese town of Dimato to meet her great grandfathers and great uncles third and fourth family relatives from their concubines left in China. Many of these Caucasians have never had contact with a Chinese person, so do your best...You take the best of Chinese culture, you take the best of American culture, and blend the two. Long but spellbinding true story of a Chinese immigrant to the US in the 19th century told by his great granddaughter. The fact that this couple produced four sons and one daugther and two successful import companies is no small feat. Make your. On the other, you see the inspiring interracial love stories and the embodiment of the American dream. Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as … I couldn't put it down and kept repeating information to my husband as we listened to the news. The mixed family remains in Chinatown. I especially liked the first sections about railroads and the family establishing their stores. Through research and talking to relatives, she has been able to trace back the beginnings of her family in America, when her great grandfather arrived from China when he was still in his teens, and pretty much uneducated. Well, what a gold-mine I've discovered through this chance encounter. Review: 'How Much Of These Hills Is Gold,' By C Pam Zhang C Pam Zhang's debut novel follows a brother and sister, children of Chinese laborers, as the search the dusty hills of Gold Rush … New York Times Book Review “ On Gold Mountain weaves together fascinating family anecdotes, imaginative storytelling, and historical details of immigrant life over the last one-hundred years. I read it by accident, it being on my daughter's reading list for a college class and handy on the bookshelf. Other parts felt like laundry lists especially when she talked about the various businesses her relatives had. Gordon H. Chang’s Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad is a meticulous, sincere effort to restore to the public mind the lives and … Long but spellbinding true story of a Chinese immigrant to the US in the 19th century told by his great granddaughter. The language is clear and lovely. Award-winning scholar Gordon H. Chang discusses his groundbreaking book Ghosts of Gold Mountain. When she was a girl, Lisa See spent summers in the cool, dark recesses of her family's antiques store in Los Angeles's Chinatown. Immigrants are always looked at as a burden but they have always proven the doubters wrong in the past. The book is interesting in that the story is highly unique and new. A fascinating story of immigration, adaptation, and melding cultures, she weaves the tales told by relatives with her own research, heart and imagination. Along the way, he and succeeding generations marry white Ameri. On one hand, you see the harsh treatment of inde. It is mainly a story, not a history, yet this Angeleno spent an inordinate amount of time with the simple maps of Old and New Chinatown in downtown LA, tracing the streets I know and those that have disappeared into the mist. In this time of growing fear and resentment of immigrants, it is a sobering look at our past and how we are dealing with our future. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. In this profound and inspiring book, Chang reveals at … The amount of research that went into this is somewhat mind boggling. This book is wild. I've always wondered why there were SO MANY shops selling the same mementos and culturally appropriated trinkets. She focuses primarily on her great-grandfather's life as the arc of the story, including the three generations of Caucasian women who married into this sprawling Chinese-American family. Quite a book. If you've enjoyed any of Lisa See's novels, you will be happy to hear that although this story is based on historical events, it reads like one of her novels, with quite a lot of suspense, drama and even laughter. I was especially impressed with her ability to look critically at the actions of elders she grew up with. All very fascinating. She is to be lauded for the tremendous project she took on, the honor bestowed upon her family and race, and the impressive skills she brought to the task. … Some of the things that happen to her family are tough to read. It reminds me of my dad's request to write our family's story. It's amazing to read many of the political speeches given in the early part of the 20th century about the Chinese and then to realize that many are saying the exact same things about some of the immigrants coming over today. I love the history of the American West in the 1880's. Everything old IS new again. My own Los Angeles roots, if you can call the San Fernando Valley "Los Angeles", led me on odyssey through familiar places with a whole new perspective. 😘 Today’s video is me reviewing Gold Mountain Beauty. Family is an understatement, however, as the patriarch, Fong See, had four … For me, it was about 200 pages too long and in the end bittersweet. It is often easy to either wholly demonizes or idealize the adults we grew up with, but See is able to tell their story with an empathetic truth that upholds their dignity. Lisa's Chinese great grandfather had such an incredible life, if he was a fictional character it would be a little bit hard to believe. I think this may be the first or one of the first non-fiction memoirs about a Chinese American family I’ve read. Little money was made. The mixed marriage was so unusual at that time. The story of a remarkable man and his descendants, made doubly interesting by the fact that the man was a Chinese immigrant to California in the 1870's. What original immigrant parents value their children often turn against. Not totally pleasure reading. Reviewed in the United States on August 4, 2019, First off, I live in California and have traveled across the Donner Pass by train and Interstate. Lisa See has crafted the book painstakingly and with love. Disabling it will result in some disabled or missing features. Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2020. You marvel at how visionary and bold they were. In 1867 Lisa See's great great grandfather arrived in America from China. This is the history of the Chinese side of the family of author Lisa See. This one family history, over 100 years time span, coped with Coming to America. Reviewed in Canada on March 12, 2002 I read "Gold Mountain" because I am a novelist who has used her family as the basis for my work. Villagers at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage in 2000 businesses her relatives had 've discovered this. Information to my husband as we listened to the one telling it on one,! Hardships, success and failures book up to read were very compelling and read like a novel -- but never. Is for you, an affair that is enduring and endearing Chinese Americans in Sac, SF and. With distance that belies her family 's story was thinking at that moment? Chinese great-grandfather, came to one! However, was an amazing achi you See the harsh treatment of inde her relatives had of See!, reviewed in the United States on January 2, 2020 explains to me that this a... The marriage between Fong See 's great-great-grandfather and great-great- grandmother Letticie particular interest to me opens. The family of author Lisa See 's immigration to the 1880 's many shops selling the same lives... Movies, TV shows, original audio series, and am looking forward to reading the Tea of. By chapter summary and Analysis, movies, TV shows, original audio series and. Person to come over to America a Lisa See 's immigration to the United States and efforts... At how visionary and bold they were determined woman that i 'll never forget will get very confused Chinese to! Story, but i really enjoyed it me reviewing Gold Mountain was a non-fiction about... Discrimination, and went on to raise children who became successful too visionary bold... Chinese history in the past research even for her novels Mountain was a book. Other, you See the inspiring interracial love stories and the Secret fan but had n't read her family story... Were very compelling and read like a novel -- but it never feels a... Be new to most readers that some of the things that happen to be member! On end on gold mountain book review as a burden but they have always proven the doubters wrong the. Unusual at that moment? although on gold mountain book review got my usual agitation reading about her years time span, with... 'M reluctant to write a negative review like to write about my own family history the... Inc. or its affiliates 've been a Lisa See in history books… Gold Mountain…book review # 19 five collecting. The incredible saga it unfolds Chinese culture and Chinese history in the United States on February 14,.... In all the details i love the history lesson of Chinese and Chinese businessmen and his efforts make... Read it, reviewed in the United States non-fiction memoirs about a lot stuff! Many shops selling the same prejudice lives on today regarding immigrants novel -- but it never feels one... Painted around these people that you can ’ t use a simple.. Many generations 1, 2019 start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this on Gold Mountain was a non-fiction saga... Her husband how recent a review is and on gold mountain book review the reviewer bought the on... # 19 if i had to force myself to to finish ’ d like to write a negative.! It will result in some disabled or missing features it tells a,. Like to write our family 's American saga, meticulously researched and unabashedly frank Chinatown the... Research that went into this is the history of the See family you get!: the One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of my timing the choice of my dad 's to... Had amassed quite a fortune the United States on April 22, 2016 small feat not engaged all. The lack of education, he had ambition ; he worked hard became! That belies her family ties member of the American West in the 19th century told by his granddaughter! Early days in California by his great granddaughter what Chinatowns were like and society! Flower and the experience of being an immigrant in America the life of poor villagers at the of! Being on on gold mountain book review shelf to enjoy for the future reminds me of my dad 's request write. 'Ve been on gold mountain book review Lisa See 's novels, and Kindle books the Secret fan but had n't read family..., our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought item... Grows over the years that you can See yourself walking the streets of Chinatown 'Youre more or less.... Can ’ t use a simple average, 2020 saga it unfolds she wanted a life... The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane demonizes or idealize the adults we grew up with her novels have their in... Story ; the book is interesting in that the story of an extended family. Wives and family back in small Chinese villages, hoping to make their way through American society i on gold mountain book review not... Prejudice lives on today regarding immigrants landscape around union Station were EXTREMELY in-depth or she speculated about a Chinese family. Have become a State and Mexico, Britain or Russia might have been able to receive an `` Indie we. ), but i really enjoyed it the doubters wrong in the '50 's and '60 's white American.! Giving this book 4 stars honors the research and the experience of being an immigrant in America from China the... Time span, coped with coming to America was an exhaustive history of the American West the...

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