Welcome to an in-depth look at Lisa See’s On Gold Mountain. Here you’ll find photos, interviews, maps, and more, reflecting the history of the See family.
“Readers sometimes tell me that Fong See was an extraordinary man. Maybe he was for his time and place, but he wasn’t a Rockefeller or a Kennedy, a Gates or a Jobs. He didn’t change the world or wield power outside of his own family or Los Angeles Chinatown. Uncle and Fong See’s descendants, and I include myself in this, are not extraordinary. We are quite ordinary, but I believe there’s a lot to be learned from the ordinary and it’s that very ordinariness that links my family to all American families. We all had someone in our families who was crazy enough, brave enough, or dumb enough to leave his or her home country to come here. (Even Native Americans came from somewhere else.) We all share in that immigrant experience. Maybe my family had a teapot and your family had a coffeepot, but we all–somewhere along the line–had a mother and a father. We all had people in our families who struggled and sacrificed so that we can be here today. All of us want our families to be proud of us, and they show that to us sometimes in unexpected ways” (OGM, pages 384-385).