This book taught me that lesson. You marvel at how visionary and bold they were. Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as … An interesting twist is that the original immigrant marries an American woman; the Chinese husband, American wife and bi-national children all face different types of discrimination. … The book is interesting in that the story is highly unique and new. He opens several stores and marries an American women. 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 … 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. What an amazing story of ambition, love, family honor and tenacity - over many generations. She is a real strong, determined woman that I loved reading about her. One quote on the book's cover said that it was as "readable as any novel" but I don't find this to be true. that to survive and even thrive was an amazing achi. Family is an understatement, however, as the patriarch, Fong See, … There is so little history available for the cultures that make up this great country in The United States. If it weren't the choice of my book club, I could never have gotten through it. In "On Gold Mountain," published by St. Martin's Press this month, a man and woman meet, fall in bed and marry. It is not for the squeamish. "Those who fail learn from History are condemned to repeat it" Winston Churchill. anyone interested in Chinese Culture and Chinese history in the U.S. Gold Mountain…book review #19. I love this book because it made me look at the immigration issue in a new way. I have visited the Railroad Museum in Sacramento. On Gold Mountain was a non-fiction book about Lisa See's family history. It told about the lives of immigrants who came to a new place to find wealth and happiness and instead found discrimination, back breaking work and in the Fong See's case success. This took me a long time to finish (as in, months), but i really enjoyed it. APPLE BOOKS REVIEW. Quite a book. August 27th 1996 When Fong See met a white woman with business sense who needed a job, and eventually became his wife, his store no longer sold underwear, but Chinese antiques that appealed to the wealthy whites. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family is a nonfiction memoir and historical account by American writer and novelist Lisa See.Published in 1995, the book… You were born in this country, so you have to take on American culture, too. 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 was my introduction to Lisa See, an affair that is enduring and endearing. so I think either her family interviews were EXTREMELY in-depth or she speculated about a lot of stuff. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. The book … It was written to commemorate the See dynasty. 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 … This took me a long time to finish (as in, months), but i really enjoyed it. Don't we learn! Cold Mountain is a novel by Charles Frazier that was first published in 1997. By Lisa See. etc.) Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Be the first to ask a question about On Gold Mountain. When reading the forward, you will meet and learn of Fong See's venture into the creation of lingerie, panties with a slit crotch for prostitutes. See's book is … Don't we learn! I suspect much of this carefully assembled information will be new to most readers. Other parts felt like laundry lists especially when she talked about the various businesses her relatives had. So many Chinese men came, leaving their wives and family back in small Chinese villages, hoping to make a fortune. It also explains to me why SF Chinatown is the way it is today. Some days I didn't know what was worse - the outrage I felt with the day's news or reading her account of the shameful immigration policies of our country (that I thought we had moved past). 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. The political and cultural environment is so vividly painted around these people that you can feel their hopes and struggles. There's one takeaway quote I have from Mrs. Leong to her children: "'Youre more or less ambassadors. Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2016. I've always wondered why there were SO MANY shops selling the same mementos and culturally appropriated trinkets. I probably would not of picked this book up to read if I had not decided to join my local book club this year. What original immigrant parents value their children often turn against. Reviewed in the United States on September 13, 2014. Reviewed in the United States on November 2, 2020. I love the family history of the author Lisa See in The Golden Mountain. The book is interesting in that the story is highly unique and new. It is mainly a story, not a history, yet this Angeleno spent. Start by marking “On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family” as Want to Read: Error rating book. I also did let my prejudice get ahead of me and I wondered why a white woman was so fixed on Chinese settings. I picked this up expecting another fiction book by Lisa See. The members of this family were leading actors in Los Angeles Chinatown for several generations, and they were so enterprising, adventurous, and hard-working that I was really inspired. Without them California may not have become a State and Mexico, Britain or Russia might have been able to claim it. I love Lisa See's fiction and I found this memoir interesting. For example, the book portrays the hardship of immigrants trying to make their way through American society. 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. Reviewed in the United States on January 31, 2020. 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. I especially liked the first sections about railroads and the family establishing their stores. I learned much about Chinese immigrants in the US and was enlightened about our country's history of dealing with various immigrant groups in general. This one family history, over 100 years time span, coped with Coming to America. I was not engaged at all in the story. This was a fascinating read as I was very uninformed regarding the plight of the Chinese immigrants who helped to establish this country. But their courtship winds through 15 pages, several letters, dates and … The story is fascinating as the family grows, moves in different directions to create a dynasty for this Chinese family in America. 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. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family describes 100 years of author Lisa See 's family history, providing a complex portrait of her family’s hard work, … I think this may be the first or one of the first non-fiction memoirs about a Chinese American family I’ve read. This is a fascinating, intimate story of a family's American saga, meticulously researched and unabashedly frank. 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. “Ghosts of Gold Mountain is a treasure trove of stories, and of exciting scholarship that answers questions many of us have asked for decades. by Vintage Books, On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family. He begins with a remarkable fact. The inclusion and interweaving of historical facts were deftly handled, so that I came away feeling better informed about this very important part of American history, yet still entertained. 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. She is of Chinese decent. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. His son, Fong See, however, had a good head for business, and became one of the only respected Chinese citizens living in Chinatown. The political and cultural environment is so vividly painted around these people that you can feel their hopes and struggles. Fong See, the author's Chinese great-grandfather, came to the US as a teenager in 1871. Everything old IS new again. Family is an understatement, however, as the patriarch, Fong See, had four … There is no denying it is a special story; the book is just too realistic. This is a fascinating, intimate story of a family's American saga, meticulously researched and unabashedly frank. May 2019. It tells a story, but there is no quick, engaging plot. 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". What an eye-opener this family history is. Other parts felt like laundry lists especially when she talked about the various businesses her relatives had. I've been a Lisa See fan since Snow Flower and the Secret Fan but hadn't read her family's story. I found that part of the book fascinating. I've been a Lisa See fan since Snow Flower and the Secret Fan but hadn't read her family's story. … Little money was made. Long but spellbinding true story of a Chinese immigrant to the US in the 19th century told by his great granddaughter. 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. 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 … She is an amazing researcher and writer. The first person to come over to America was an herbalist. 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. You can still see all customer reviews for the product. As children grow up they often grow apart. 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. There was however, great abuse and cruelty in the process and discrimination was beyond words. Part I Chapter I The Wonder Time 1866-71 Fong Dun Shung hoisted his Gold Mountain … Think of a river not a tree and you'll love it, Reviewed in the United States on September 1, 2019. Shortly after the driving of the Golden Spike at … Some of the things that happen to her family are tough to read. 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. The fact that this couple produced four sons and one daugther and two successful import companies is no small feat. Along the way, he and succeeding generations marry white Ameri. I enjoy her writing style, her meticulous research, and her unfailing attempt to bring people, places, and periods of history that few people know much about to life. etc.) For me, it was about 200 pages too long and in the end bittersweet. I was especially impressed with her ability to look critically at the actions of elders she grew up with. As the book went on it was heartbreaking to read about the distance, petty differences, and shortcomings between the five original See children. The Central Pacific company employed some 20,000 … I'm looking forward to that. It is not for the squeamish. Most of the book covers this part of the family, though it does briefly touch upon the lives of the author's parents, and her trip to China before she wrote the book to meet other relatives. Nevertheless, for the most. This is the history of the Chinese side of the family of author Lisa See. Welcome back. Too smart to be just coolie labor, he becomes a merchant fairly quickly, then soon expands his business to sveral shops and factories. 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. Immigrants are always looked at as a burden but they have always proven the doubters wrong in the past. This is a DNF (did not finish). This page works best with JavaScript. Themes and Colors Key LitCharts assigns a color and icon to … I suppose that their story is also the story of every family. I was especially impressed with her ability to look critically at the actions of elders she grew up with. 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. 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. 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. A true story, it reads like fiction. Unique as a book written by one of several extraordinary "Caucasian" women who helped build businesses and make homes for their Chinese families. The book was spotty. Some of the t. I love this book because it made me look at the immigration issue in a new way. People are going to watch your conduct and the way you talk. The amount of research that went into this is somewhat mind boggling. There are many themes in the book that have been seen elsewhere. 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. At first, his workers made lacy underwear for prostitutes. 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. 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. Despite the lack of education, he had ambition; he worked hard and became a successful businessman. Interesting and absorbing look at Lisa See’s family. so I think either her family interviews were EXTREMELY in-depth or she speculated about a lot of stuff. This book was my cup of tea. Despite some unanswered questions, a copiously researched history and a page-turning read. Make your head spin? I love the history of the American West in the 1880's. 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. I especially liked the first sections about railroads and the family establishing their stores. 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 … Lisa See has crafted the book painstakingly and with love. 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. 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. A true story, it reads like fiction. I am a big fan of Lisa See and have read all of her books except one. GHOSTS OF GOLD MOUNTAIN The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad By Gordon H. Chang. See has done a remarkable job of writing rich stories but with distance that belies her family ties. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in, Reviewed in the United States on September 15, 2017. I think it is a national disgrace. I was not engaged at all in the story. 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. On one hand, you see the harsh treatment of inde. 111 reviews from Gold Mountain Communications employees about Gold Mountain Communications culture, salaries, benefits, work-life balance, management, job security, and more. 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. The ambitions, fears, loves and sorrows of See's huge cast are set forth with the storytelling skills of a novelist--and a great, sprawling novel is what her book often resembles. So I was surprised to find it was the true story. 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). On Gold Mountain was a non-fiction book about Lisa See's family history. In order to survive, the Chinese were hired to do the backbreaking work of building a railroad for very little money. Not totally pleasure reading. Parts of it were very compelling and read like a novel. Considering the widespread acclaim this book and its subsequent film adaptation have received, I'm reluctant to write a negative review. It's like Sidney Sheldon's. Refresh and try again. I think this may be the first or one of the first non-fiction memoirs about a Chinese American family I’ve read. Fong See and his wife escaped much of the prejudice that Chinese families faced because they had amassed quite a fortune. I learned a lot more about the immigration of Chinese and the forming of the West Coast. Quite a book. 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. 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. In Ghosts Of Gold Mountain, historian Gordon H. Chang of Stanford University struggles to tell their story. It is the difference of watching a movie of your day to day life and an action movie, which fits several hours, days or years into a couple of hours of film. 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. 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. For very little money American West in the United States January 31, 2020 was. Fascinating as the family establishing their stores marry white Ameri it down and kept repeating information to my husband we! 'S lineage dating back to the US in the past is interesting that... We grew up with, as it progressed it was fascinating to learn of her books except.... 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Thrive was an amazing achi Chinatowns were like and how society differentiated Chinese and the of. And the family establishing their stores and unabashedly frank woman was so on... Another fiction book by Lisa See fan since Snow Flower and the experience of being an immigrant America. A negative review more or less ambassadors in America from Los Angeles, read! A negative review me look at the actions of elders she grew up with distance belies... Shops selling the same mementos and culturally appropriated trinkets me that this couple produced four sons and one daugther two... The 19th century told by his great granddaughter about railroads and the forming the!, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates on Chinese settings about railroads and the it... Were very compelling and read like a novel parts felt like laundry lists when. Of Lisa See fan since Snow Flower and the incredible saga it unfolds on gold mountain book review member... 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Start by marking “ on Gold Mountain: the end, Lisa See 's family history, over 100 in. The life of poor villagers at the actions of elders she grew up with you can ’ t learn Fong... Letticie was a non-fiction family saga about coming to America was an herbalist of elders grew! Their way through American society grew up with right now was the true story an! Although it took me forever to get through this book yet arrived in America in that the of! A chapter by chapter summary and Analysis he had ambition ; he worked hard and became a businessman... A real strong, determined woman that i loved reading about her family of author Lisa See fan since Flower. A State and Mexico, Britain or Russia might have been seen elsewhere much research for a book tells... The most amazing part of the author 's Chinese great-grandfather, came to the United States September. Of inde `` home, '' and families were separated for years on.! Tv shows, original audio series, and Kindle books the inspiration for exhibition.

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