See chronicles her ancestors’ immigrant experience coming from China to California. Spanning 100 years of family history, from dynamiting railroads into mountainsides to rubbing shoulders with the Hollywood elite, See shares the triumphs and the devastations along the way. I was charmed by See’s honest, often emotional rendering of her family’s remarkable journey.— Jade
In 1867, Lisa See's great-great-grandfather arrived in America, where he prescribed herbal remedies to immigrant laborers who were treated little better than slaves. His son Fong See later built a mercantile empire and married a Caucasian woman, in spite of laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Lisa herself grew up playing in her family's antiques store in Los Angeles's Chinatown, listening to stories of missionaries and prostitutes, movie stars and Chinese baseball teams.
With these stories and her own years of research, Lisa See chronicles the one-hundred-year-odyssey of her Chinese-American family, a history that encompasses racism, romance, secret marriages, entrepreneurial genius, and much more, as two distinctly different cultures meet in a new world.
"Lovingly rendered. . . . A vivid tableau of a family and an era." --People
"Terrific stuff. . . . 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 details of immigrant life. . . . Enviably entertaining." --Amy Tan
"Astonishing. . . . as engagingly readable as any novel. . . . comprehensive and exhaustively researched." --Los Angeles Times Book Review