Voices of Angel Island: Inscriptions and Immigrant Poetry, 1910-1945 (Hardcover)

Voices of Angel Island: Inscriptions and Immigrant Poetry, 1910-1945 By Charles Egan Cover Image

Voices of Angel Island: Inscriptions and Immigrant Poetry, 1910-1945 (Hardcover)

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Voices of Angel Island is a historical and literary anthology of the writings of immigrants detained at Angel Island, designed to provide a conduit for readers today to connect with early-20th-century perspectives on the process of "becoming American."

The Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco Bay has been called the "Ellis Island of the West," but its purpose was quite different. It was primarily a detention center, established in large part to discourage immigration by Asians. The station barracks contain an extraordinary archive: hundreds of poems and prose records in half a dozen languages are on the walls, inscribed by immigrant detainees between 1910 and 1940, and by POWs and "enemy aliens" during World War II. Charles Egan draws on over a decade's work deciphering the wall inscriptions by Japanese, Chinese, Korean, European, and other detainees to assemble a selection of their writings in this book, alongside literary materials from Bay Area ethnic newspapers. While each inscription tells the story of an individual, taken together they illuminate the historical, economic, and cultural forces that shaped the lives of ordinary people in the early 20th century.
Charles Egan is Professor of Chinese at San Francisco State University, USA. He is the author of Clouds Thick, Whereabouts Unknown: Poems by Zen Monks of China, which was awarded the 2011 Lucien Stryk Prize in Asian Translation by the American Literary Translators Association.
Product Details ISBN: 9781501360459
ISBN-10: 1501360450
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication Date: December 24th, 2020
Pages: 360
Language: English