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Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island 1910-1940

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Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island 1910-1940 Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

"For thirty years, from 1910 to 1940, Angel Island in San Francisco Bay was the first, often the only, toehold in America for immigrants from China. From the Cantonese Pearl River delta district of Taishan they sailed, fleeing famine and the foreign concessions, bound for the Land of the Flowery Flag, the Golden Mountain. Some were relatives of earlier Chinese immigrants who had come to America for Sutter's gold and stayed to help lay transcontinental railroad tracks. Others, in their anxiety to get to America at whatever cost, pretended to be relatives and arrived with identification papers bought in Canton, and with 'coaching papers," carefully constructed and memorized family backgrounds that they hoped would pass them through immigration examiners. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 had been relaxed somewhat under pressure from Chinese Government officials in Canton by 1910, when Angel Island was opened, for Chinese immigrants only. But the immigration laws, so far as the Chinese were concerned, seemed designed to exclude rather than to admit. ...

"During the time they spent on the island, as little as a few days, as long as three years, they carved and ink brushed their concerns onto the walls of their barracks. One hundred thirty-five calligraphic poems survived, first discovered by a Federal park ranger after Angel Island was abandoned in 1940. These tell of voyages from China, detainment on the island, attitudes toward the first Americans encountered — immigration officials and social workers — and finally the disappointments and triumphs of the immigrants.

"To augment the translations of the poems the authors have interviewed older Chinese who once passed through Angel Island and immigration workers as well, and have set their recollections down verbatim as oral history. Together with the interviews, the poems — angry, heroic, wrenchingly forlorn, despairing, provocative, resistant — convey, as no secondhand or thirdhand account could ever do, what it was like to be Chinese and to be on Angel Island." -New York Times

Book News Annotation:

Angel Island, in San Francisco Bay, was the entry, internment center, and often closest approach to the US for Chinese immigrants in the early 20th century. Here are the thoughts they carved and inkbrushed on their barrack's walls, discovered after the center closed in 1940. Facing pages of Chinese and English. No index.
Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Synopsis:

Text and poetry from immigrants who passed through the island which has been called the "Ellis Island of the West".

Product Details

ISBN:
9780295971094
Author:
Lai, Him Mark
Author:
Yung, Judy
Author:
Lim, Genny
Author:
Lai, H. Mark
Publisher:
University of Washington Press
Location:
Seattle :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Chinese
Subject:
History
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Anthologies (multiple authors)
Subject:
Asian - General
Subject:
Poetry
Subject:
Emigration and immigration
Subject:
United States - State & Local
Subject:
Emigration & Immigration
Subject:
Immigrants
Subject:
Translations into english
Subject:
State
Subject:
American - Asian American
Subject:
Chinese poetry
Subject:
United States Emigration and immigration History.
Subject:
Immigrants' writings, Chinese.
Subject:
Ethnic Studies - Asian American Studies
Subject:
United States Emigration and immigration.
Subject:
Immigrants -- United States -- History.
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Subject:
Asian American Studies
Subject:
Western History
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Includes bibliographical references p. 172.
Series Volume:
no. 101-139
Publication Date:
19910531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
174
Dimensions:
9.01x7.51x.38 in. .78 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Miscellaneous International Poetry
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Asian American
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Chinese American
History and Social Science » US History » General
History and Social Science » World History » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General

Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island 1910-1940 Used Trade Paper
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Product details 174 pages University of Washington Press - English 9780295971094 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Text and poetry from immigrants who passed through the island which has been called the "Ellis Island of the West".
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