Uncovering the Asian American Old West – YES! Magazine

I was fascinated to read how Linda Sue Park uses her childhood love of Laura Ingalls Wilder‘s “Little House” books to bring Asian American characters alive in this setting!     ~Becky

“Asian Americans were conveniently written out of history about the Old West. But they were present—and prolific.”

Source: Uncovering the Asian American Old West – YES! Magazine

39 thoughts on “Uncovering the Asian American Old West – YES! Magazine

  1. Interesting and important story, Becky. Thanks for sharing. Our history textbooks are so condensed that it’s nice to see immigrant stories fleshed out. Park’s literary journey itself is fascinating, and young adult books reach an audience which is bound to remember impressive themes.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Terrific and important post and link, Becky! American history has been “whitewashed” (literally) in all kinds of ways, so a book like “Prairie Lotus” is consequently VERY essential. It’s gratifying that at least a few novels that are at least partly set more than a century ago prominently feature characters of Asian descent in the U.S. — Amy Tan’s “The Bonesetter’s Daughter,” Isabel Allende’s “Daughter of Fortune,” John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden,” etc.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Daughter of Fortune by Isabelle Allende is a story about a pregnant Chilean girl who follows her boyfriend to the California gold rush. A Chinese herbal healer helps her stowaway on a ship from from Chile to San Francisco, keeps her alive on the voyage, and helps her get settled in San Francisco so she can begin looking for her boyfriend. Sensitive handling of both Celestial and Hispanic immigrants during the Gold Rush and early statehood period .

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I still remember my 4th grade teacher reading the Little House books aloud to us, every day: 20 minutes each day. The experience was so profound that when I was traveling in Kansas, I recognized some of the Wilder family graves when I came across them. Perhaps some teachers will read Prairie Lotus aloud, too, and another generation will be touch and influenced as I was.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Fascinating. I did know about Asian Americans building the RR. It’s a shame that they were left out of the photo of the RR’s joining the country together. Asian Canadians built the Canadian RR’s as well.
    However, I’ve seen photos of them working on Canada’s RR.
    I’d now like to know if they were left out of important heritage promo shots.
    I’m so sick of whitewashed history.
    Thanks for this post, Becky!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Fascinating – the book sounds really interesting. I know that there were many Asian workers who helped build the railroads, but I had never thought about Asian women and families in the Old West.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. What a wonderful article! Thank you so much for sharing this one, Becky. I’d known there was a large Chinese workforce helping to build the early railways and that they suffered hardship and a lot of deaths – but I hadn’t thought about how they went on to continue living in the US as part of a community, afterwards.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thanks for sharing this, Becky. So many people written out, thrown out and even killed.
    I was taken with the author’s statement: “There’s a lot more space for these stories, but I get so impatient. I don’t want three books. I want 300 and I want them now.” To Asian American authors, she says, “Please hurry up.”

    Liked by 1 person

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