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God of Luck
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God of Luck

By Ruthanne Lum McCunn
2007, 239 pages, Hardback.
Book Description from the Front Cover Flap
Comments from Back Cover
About the Author

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Book Description from the Front Cover Flap

Cruel Fate has separated a pair of young lovers.

Ah Lung and his wife Bo See live in a village whose inhabitants raise silkworms for a living. It is the nineteenth century and marriages are arranged by families, but their relationship is one of true love.

Then, like hundreds of thousands of other Chinese men, Ah Lung is kidnapped, enslaved, and shipped across the Pacific Ocean to work the deadly guano "mines" off the coast of Peru. Ah Lung and Bo See are determined to be reunited.

Ah Lung must employ ingenuity simply to survive the harsh conditions below deck on the slave ship and then the even more deadly perils of digging guano if he is to escape from harsh servitude and imprisonment on the guano island and make his way home. Bo See uses her secret skills to earn ransom money for his redemption.

Husband and wife do all they can, but it is the God of Luck who presides over the ultimate fate of these two young lovers.

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Comments from Back Cover

"With God of Luck, Ruthanne Lum McCunn has turned her descriptive and sensitive storytelling skills to the little known coolie trade to Peru. She beautifully combines the hardships and brutality of the kidnapping of a Chinese man, conditions on the slave ships, and the bitterness of back-breaking labor in a foreign land with the sadness and determination of a wife and family back home. Never separating history from its impact on individual people McCunn has reached into her characters' hearts to bring readers a story emotional depth and truth."
- Lisa See, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

"[Told] with amazing detail and riveting power, Ah Lung's story will keep readers spellbound and cheering to the final page."
- Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Farewell to Manzanar

"God of Luck is partly history we didn't know: partly the grand voyages of Cheng Ho, The Odyssey and The Amistad; and partly the grit of a tough Chinese slave in Peru and a plucky survivor in China. Mostly it's a story about the great collective us, in which we find ourselves holding to the immediately familiar and challenged by the forever new."
- Gus Lee, China Boy

"The history of the Chinese diaspora cannot be told without the critical intervention of the novelist. In the case of coolies transported to Peru in the 19th century ... McCunn. through her fertile and creative mind, helps us imagine how this transnational story might have unfolded, evoking deep emotions of love, yearning, and loss."
- Evelyn Hu-Dehart, Professor of History & Ethnic Studies, Brown University

"Meticulously researched and beautifully written God of Luck is a splendid read."
- Franklin Odo, Director, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Program, Smithsonian Institution

"I loved God of Luck. Ruthanne Lum McCunn writes with rare authenticity and passion."
-Da Chen, Colors of the Mountain and Brothers

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Background on Ruthanne Lum McCunn

Ruthanne Lum McCunn, of Scottish and Chinese ancestry, is the author of the classic novel Thousand Pieces of Gold as well as The Moon Pearl and Wooden Fish Songs. Her work has been translated into eleven languages, published in twenty-two countries, and adapted for the stage and screen. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two cats.

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