Sunday, May 17, 2015

Library of America Story of the Week Read-Along 277: Wong Chin Foo, Experience of a Chinese Journalist (#277)

Wong Chin Foo, "Experience of a Chinese Journalist" (1885) from Writing New York: A Literary Anthology:

A short and humorous take, reminiscent of the old joke about Hollywood:
Do you know how to make a million dollars making movies? Start with ten million dollars.
Wong Chin Foo sounds like an interesting guy, a sort of Chinese American Mark Twain, making enemies all around the world. This short piece from Puck doesn't really showcase that directly, though he does talk about how he was denounced by white Americans and Chinese Americans; how he made enemies of gambling den owners; etc. But it's all mixed in with jokes about treasurers walking off with the treasury, which is fun, but doesn't really get to the heart of who this guy is.

Also, the fact that this is from the Writing New York anthology seems extra bizarre, as there's nothing particularly New York-y about it.

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