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The Concubine's Children (1994)
by Denise Chong
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The ethos of family is dramatically portrayed by Denise Chong in this tale of her grandmother, brought from China as a young concubine by a sojourner to the New World, of the man's wife and the children who would be left behind, and of the author's own incredible discovery of those children six decades later.Here is a true story, woven from letters, photographs, and memories, with more twists and turns than any novel. It is a story of the lives of one family living on two different sides of the globe: in a village in South China before and after the Communists took power, and in the gritty Chinatowns on North America's west coast. The "at-home" wife would hold sacred the honor of the family; supporting her was the concubine who sacrificed her own family in working the tea houses abroad, in "Gold Mountain." In tow was her youngest daughter, the author's mother. It was she who unlocked the past for her daughter, whose curiosity about some old photographs ultimately reunited this family, who had been divided for most of this century.
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