Children of Theppearl

Ching Yun Bezine, Author Signet Book $4.99 (400p) ISBN 978-0-451-17056-9
In Bezine's American debut, Chinese history and culture enhance an enlightening tale of four early 20th-century immigrants; it becomes as much a story of these characters' homes--both old and new--as it is one of the people themselves. The four become friends on the ship: Sung Quanming is traveling to San Francisco to join pk his uncle's prosperous trading company; a labor trader; slave trader? Li Fachai, son of a poor fisherman, is lured by promises of a lucrative job; argumentative Yung Meiping is unwittingly sold into white slavery by her father; and Fong Loone, an introspective, artistic 14-year-old, is sent by his uncle and aunt, who hope that in America he will recover from his parents' deathsi thought these last three were sent by a labor trader, not an aunt and uncle/mc . When the quartet arrives in California they go their separate ways: stet these names/pk Quanming to the family business, Fachai to a fish-processing plant, Meiping to a house of prostitution, and Loone to detention for having a ``questionable'' right to enter the U.S. Over the next 20 years, their lives intersect as each struggles with the colorful and sometimes violent setting of San Francisco's Chinatown as well as America's prejudices and peculiar laws. Author tour. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 09/30/1991
Release date: 10/01/1991
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