The Flower Drum Song

( 2 )

Overview

Originally published in 1957, The Flower Drum Song was a groundbreaking work of popular literature. An immediate bestseller, it inspired the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. This charming, bittersweet tale of romance and the powerful bonds of family tells the story of Wang Ta, who wants what every young American man wants: a great career and a woman to love. Living in San Francisco's Chinatown-with his widowed father, Old Master Wang, who misses the old way of life in China, and his younger brother, who ...

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Overview

Originally published in 1957, The Flower Drum Song was a groundbreaking work of popular literature. An immediate bestseller, it inspired the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical. This charming, bittersweet tale of romance and the powerful bonds of family tells the story of Wang Ta, who wants what every young American man wants: a great career and a woman to love. Living in San Francisco's Chinatown-with his widowed father, Old Master Wang, who misses the old way of life in China, and his younger brother, who just wants to be a normal American teenager-Wang Ta becomes involved with a series of women as he searches for love and the American dream. Comic, poignant, and sexy, The Flower Drum Song is an astute portrayal of immigrants struggling with assimilation. This edition features a new introduction by David Henry Hwang.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142002186
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 9/1/2002
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 606,488
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.76 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author

C. Y. Lee arrived in the United States in 1943 and graduated from Yale in 1947 with an MFA in playwriting. He has been a contributor to Radio Free Asia and an editor at Chinese World and Young China.

 

David Henry Hwang, acclaimed playwright, screenwriter, and librettist, won the Tony Award for his play M. Butterfly.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2010

    A poignant drama about the Chinese-American immigrant experience

    As much as I love the musical of Flower Drum Song, I loved the book even more, but in a very different way. This is a dramatic and poignant story, much less comedic than the musical would have you believe, although it's certainly entertaining and a quick read. It's a fascinating portrayal of the Chinese-American immigrant experience in San Francisco in the late 1930s. Perhaps what makes it so compelling is that the characters here feel very real. They're not stereotypes, they're very identifiable people despite their unique situations. And they're so well written that you will find empathy for all of them. The character of Helen was always particularly fascinating to me in the musical and she's even more fascinating here, although her story is not a happy one. The ending is not entirely satisfying, it seems like it needs an epilogue, yet the way it ends is so appropriate that I can hardly criticize it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    new horizons

    the flower drum song is excellent. it concerns a family from china that moves to san francisco in hopes of a better life.

    it 's characters are very strong. the father is traditional: doesn't like american ways and tries to run his family with an iron hand. the eldest son who the book is centered around , is trying new , yet american ways to find love. his love interest range from a golddigger to a homely tailor whose desperation for love ends tragically. the woman who wins his heart ultimately changes the outlook for everyone.

    other supporting characters are a sister in law, flush with cash who tries to get the father to look beyond china town, yet keeps her own chinese traditions. the younger brother is trying to acclimate to american ways, yet stifles his father by enduring lashings for not studying confucious.

    this book is easy to read and provides insight into issues that chinese immigrants faced when moving to a new world. highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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