Russell Charles Leong shows an astonishing range in this new collection of stories. From struggling war refugees to monks, intellectuals to sex workers, his characters are both linked and separated by their experiences as modern Asians and Asian Americans.In styles ranging from naturalism to high-camp parody, Leong goes beneath stereotypes of immigrant and American-born Chinese, hustlers and academics, Buddhist priests and street people. Displacement and marginalization � and the search for love and liberation � are persistent themes. Leong�s people are set apart, by sexuality, by war, by AIDS, by family dislocations. From this vantage point on the outskirts of conventional life, they often see clearly the accommodations we make with identity and with desire. A young teen-ager, sold into prostitution to finance her brothers� education, saves her hair trimmings to burn once a year in a temple ritual, the one part of her body that is under her own control. A documentary film producer, raised in a noisy Hong Kong family, marvels at the popular image of Asian Americans as a silenced minority. Traditional Chinese families struggle to come to terms with gay children and AIDS.
Edward Teach Blackbeard-is one of the legends of the so-called golden age of piracy. There have been so many accounts of his short, bloody career that it is hard to see him and his times in a clear historical light. This new study looks for the man behind the legend, and it gives a vivid insight into the nature of piracy and the naval operations that were launched against it.The narrative focuses on the roles played by the Governor of Virginia Alexander Spotswood who masterminded the pursuit of Blackbeard, and Lieutenant Robert Maynard of HMS Pearl who led the pursuit and finally cornered Teach and his crew and, after a vicious fight, saw him killed.In vivid detail, it reveals how the hunt for Blackbeard was orchestrated, how he was tracked down, and the parts played in the drama by the larger-than-life leading characters in this extraordinary story. This freshly researched study of the pursuit of the notorious pirate and his crew—and of the final fight in which Blackbeard lost his life—makes compelling reading.
This satirical short novel displays a side of Cooper unfamiliar to many modern readers. It is told from the point of view of an actual handkerchief: its origins in a French flax field, how it was passed around New York City society in the 1830s, and its eventual return to its maker. In this story, Cooper makes a point of ridiculing Victorian materialism—which places value on consumption, not production.
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