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Last updated 3/12/2024 at 10:26am

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Are you looking for a nonfiction book to read in 2024? "Mott Street: A Chinese American Family's Story of Exclusion and Homecoming" by Ava Chin might suit you.

What does one single building in New York's Chinatown reveal about the author's ancestors?

Growing up, Chin's family's origins were a mystery and nothing seemed to match between what she was told and what she researched. Chin, who grew up estranged from her father, begins a detailed quest as she researches and explores newspapers, film footage, databases, family oral stories, the Chinese Exclusion Act, and being Chinese in America. From Hong Kong to all over the United States, Chin learns about her family's history and present lives. As she discovers more, she uncovers multiple surprises along the way. Family portraits throughout the book highlight and capture her family members' triumphs and struggles throughout time. She shares her father's stories, her grandpa's Exclusion Act file at the National Archives offices, and family oral stories. Was it all false? Will she uncover the whole truth? These beautifully written lost stories are captured in a unique nonfiction novel about Chin and her family going back to 1906 in one single building on Mott Street.

Paige Bentley-Flannery is the community librarian, reader services with Deschutes Public Library.


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