THE FLOWER DRUM SONG by C. Y. Lee

THE FLOWER DRUM SONG

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A charming little book about the Wang family, refugees from ed China five years ago and now settled in San Francisco's Chinatown, trying to cope with both their old Chinese traditions and the new American world in which they find themselves. There is Old Master Wang, 63; Ta, his elder son, 28; San, his 13-year old cowboy-tough-guy younger son; there is Mme. Tang, his widowed sister-in-law; and his servants. With much that is funny and touching, there's a bit here and there of sterner stuff:- Old Wang's friendship with another Chinese traditionalist, the berb doctor, carried on in writing because they speak different dialects; Ta's romances and his conversations with his friend, Chang, a cynical optimist; the introduction into the family of the flower drum singers, Old Man Li and his daughter May Li; Mme. Tang's fluctuations between being up-to-date American and very old- fashioned indeed. The main plot line is the rather meandering one of getting Ta married, his father and aunt arranging things by astrology and Ta reaching his goal more effectively by backward advances to love. There is lots of local color and much mouth- watering talk of food. A smoothly written and altogether pleasant and different novel.

Pub Date: May 20th, 1957
ISBN: 0142002186
Publisher: Farrar, Straus