Fifth Chinese Daughter
- PUBLISHED: November 2019
- SUBJECT LISTING: Asian American Studies, Biography, Autobiography, and Memoir
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 288 Pages, 5.5 x 8.25 in, 33 b&w illus.
- SERIES: Classics of Asian American Literature
- ISBN: 9780295745909
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
Jade Snow Wong’s autobiography portrays her coming-of-age in San Francisco's Chinatown, offering a rich depiction of her immigrant family and her strict upbringing, as well as her rebellion against family and societal expectations for a Chinese woman. Originally published in 1950, Fifth Chinese Daughter was one of the most widely read works by an Asian American author in the twentieth century. The US State Department even sent its charismatic young author on a four-month speaking tour throughout Asia.
Cited as an influence by prominent Chinese American writers such as Amy Tan and Maxine Hong Kingston, Fifth Chinese Daughter is a foundational work in Asian American literature. It was written at a time when few portraits of Asian American life were available, and no similar works were as popular and broadly appealing. This new edition includes the original illustrations by Kathryn Uhl and features an introduction by Leslie Bow, who critically examines the changing reception and enduring legacy of the book and offers insight into Wong’s life as an artist and an ambassador of Chinese American culture.
Authors & Contributors
Jade Snow Wong (1922–2006), is the author of Fifth Chinese Daughter and No Chinese Stranger. She was also an award-winning ceramicist and enamelist. Leslie Bow is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of English and Asian American studies at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
A sensitive and revealing story of a Chinese American girl’s coming of age in America. It is unique.- New York Herald Tribune
A fascinating narrative, not only because of the courage and humour which shine through every page of the book, but also because it shows how the members of a typical Chinese family can adapt themselves to American conditions and take their part in the national life of the United States without losing the essentials of the cultural heritage which they rightly prize.- Times Literary Supplement
Fifth Chinese Daughter remains a compelling read, retaining the power to elicit empathy and identification in its readers, affective responses that may well transcend time and place.- from the introduction by Leslie Bow, author of Partly Colored