Originally published in 1945 and now reissued with a new introduction by the author, Jade Snow Wong's story is one of struggle and achievements. These memoirs of the author's first twenty-four years are thoughtful, informative, and highly entertaining. They not only portray a young woman and her unique family in San Francisco's Chinatown, but they ...
Originally published in 1945 and now reissued with a new introduction by the author, Jade Snow Wong's story is one of struggle and achievements. These memoirs of the author's first twenty-four years are thoughtful, informative, and highly entertaining. They not only portray a young woman and her unique family in San Francisco's Chinatown, but they are rich in the details that light up a world within the world of America. The third-person singular style is rooted in Chinese literary form, reflecting cultural disregard for the individual, yet Jad Snow Wong's story also is typically American. We first meet Jade Snow Wong the child, narrowly confined by the family and factory life, bound to respect and obey her elders while shouldering responsibility for younger brothers and sisters - a solemn child well versed in the proper order of things, who knew that punishment was sure for any infraction of etiquette. Then the schoolgirl caught in confusion between the rigid teaching of her ancestors and the strange ways of her foreign classmates. After that the college student feeling her was toward personal identity in the face of parental indifference or outright opposition. And finally the artist whose early triumphs were doubled by the knowledge that she had at long last won recognition from her family.
Looking under 'ceramics' , the blurb gave the impression that this was a story about a potter in China. I had the impression that it was a historical novel set within the lively and complex ceramic history of China. Hoping to learn more about this extensive subject I read with interest , to have that turned over as it is set in America and only right at the end is potting mentioned. The blurb is misleading as this is a personal narrative of a Chinese girl growing up in America within a traditional family and her struggle for some independence. Its Ok, not very interesting, nothing momentous and for those looking for something on ceramics - a complete let-down. It should not be in this category but in biographies.
Aug 10, 2007
If you want to know what life was like for a young Chinese girl in San Francisco's China Town, this is the book to read. This is autobiographical and takes place in the 1930's and onward . The Chinese customs adhered to and brought to the USA help us to understand what frustrations Chinese girls had in those years. The sons were honored and spoiled, the daughters were expected to just do what they were told to do...........particularly hard for a FIFTH Chinese daughter.
Jun 14, 2007
I had to read this book for an English seminar and I really enjoyed it. It was particularly interesting to observe the way in which the author stresses the fluidity of the American and Chinese culture. In fact she suggests that the two cultures compliment one another.
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