December 2020: The Fortunes


  • Did you enjoy the book set up?

  • Did the four stories make sense together?

  • What did they say about Chinese American culture and identity over time?

  • How familiar were you with Chinese immigration during the 1840s before reading "Gold"?

  • How do Ling's realizations about America differ or resonate with 2020 America?

  • What did you know about Anna Mae Wong before reading "Silver"?

  • Anna Mae returns to China later in her life to build her popularity. Did the cultural disconnect resonate with you (if you've been able to return to a land you identify as home)?

  • Could you relate to Anna Mae's journey?

  • What did you know about Vincent Chin before reading "Jade"?

  • How does reading about a pivotal moment in civil rights history from an adjacent perspective change your understanding?

  • In "Pearl", John's exploration of his ethnic identity is framed very differently than the previous three stories. What did you think about that?

  • How does adoption play into the Chinese and Asian American framing?

Order the book through your local bookstore, online, or check your local library for digital and physical loans.

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