BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Picture Bride by Cathy Song [in What Do I Read Next? Multicultural Literature]

Picture BrideCathy Song, 1982 winner of the prestigious Yale Series of Younger Poets, divides her debut collection into five sections, each named after flowers. Song draws inspiration from the works of 19th-century Japanese woodcut printmaker Kitagawa Utamaro, modern American artist Georgia O’Keefe, as well as detailed elements of the life that surrounds her. The title refers to Song’s mother, who arrived in Hawai’i as a “picture bride,” which meant that the marriage was prearranged based solely on letters and an exchange of pictures between the bachelor in the U.S. and a potential bride in Asia. In “picture-bride” unions, the bride’s arrival on U.S. shores to be collected by her husband, based on her picture, was the very first time that the already-married couple met. Some 30,000 Asian women entered the U.S. during the first three decades of the 20th-century as “picture brides.”

Review: “Asian American Titles,” What Do I Read Next? Multicultural Literature, Gale Research, 1997

Readers: Adult

Published: 1983


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