On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family

Author(s): Lisa See


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. 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 discrimination. They spoke of how Lisa's great-great-grandfather emigrated from his Chinese village to the United States; how his son followed him, married a Caucasian woman, and despite great odds, went on to become one of the most prominent Chinese on "Gold Mountain" (the Chinese name for the United States). As an adult, See spent five years collecting the details of her family's remarkable history. 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.


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Lisa See is the "New York Times" bestselling author of "Shanghai Girls, Peony in Love, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Flower Net" (an Edgar Award nominee), "The Interior" and "Dragon Bones." She wrote the libretto for the Los Angeles Opera adaptation of On Gold Mountain and served as curator for the Autry Museum of Western Heritage's exhibit "On Gold Mountain: A Chinese American Experience, " also featured at the Smithsonian Institute. The Organization of Chinese American Women named her the 2001 National Woman of the Year. She lives in Los Angeles.

General Fields

  • : 9780307950390
  • : Vintage Books
  • : Vintage Books
  • : 0.472
  • : February 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Lisa See
  • : Paperback / softback
  • : 402
  • : black white illustrations, maps