These remarkable tales rank among the first works of fiction published by a Chinese-American author. The daughter of an English shipping merchant and his Chinese wife, Edith Maude Eaton grew up in Canada and settled in the United States. She pursued a career in journalism under the pen name Sui Sin Far. A mixed-heritage woman in a culture rife with anti-Chinese sentiment, she was a pioneer in expressing the struggles and triumphs of the immigrant experience.
In these deceptively simple fables of family life, Sui Sin Far offers revealing views of life in Seattle and San Francisco at the turn of the twentieth century. Her observations of the tensions of cultural assimilation reflect the difficulties of maintaining old customs in a new environment as well as the challenges that accompany new freedoms. This collection features the title story, in which a young Chinese woman acts as a bridge between immigrant parents and their Americanized children; "In the Land of the Free," an ironically titled account of suffering inflicted by discriminatory immigration laws; "The Story of One White Woman Who Married a Chinese"; "The Three Souls of Ah So Nan"; "The Sing Song Woman"; and other captivating tales.