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Ray Bradbury

Tales of a new Chinatown: The San Gabriel Valley stories from 'Flower Drum Song' author C.Y. Lee

Tales of a new Chinatown: The San Gabriel Valley stories from 'Flower Drum Song' author C.Y. Lee

The writer C.Y. Lee, dapper at 99 with a leopard-skin printed handkerchief wrapped snugly around his neck, sits in his home office near Los Angeles' Little Ethiopia happily holding court. Surrounding him are piles of typed manuscripts, letters and notes. The walls are crammed with yellowed newspaper clippings, certificates from local assemblymen and Chinese American literary societies, a key to the city of San Francisco — documenting a career bookended by telling two different stories of Chinese life in America.

While Lee's name is no longer well known, he shaped some of the first impressions of the Chinese American experience after he skyrocketed to fame in 1957 with...

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