In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I have taken down the brown "butcher" paper that held ideas, photos, drawings, and my hand-drawn maps and plot outlines for the past five or six books. I've placed all those items into three-ring binders, and cleared the deck for paintings and photographs that involve courage, as I move forward in GHOSTKEEPER, the new novel set in Lyndonville, Vermont. My 1850 Vermont adventure THE LONG SHADOW is under contract with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you a publication date as soon as I know! Scribbling lots of poems, too. And there's a possible route to publication of the "Vermont Nancy Drew" novel I built on Wattpad (see right-hand column). Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Chinatown, Boston: Today and 1921

How can I walk back through time to discover Boston's Chinatown in 1921?

One way is through the Chinese Historical Society of New England, which graciously allowed me to join a group tour earlier this month in order to hear about the district and how it has changed, along with the memories of CHSNE members and details from their studying and collecting. Thank you, Caroline, Nancy, and more.

Most important details learned in terms of 1921: no New Year's parade or festivities outside the home at that time, and VERY few women, due to the harsh conditions set by the (US) Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, which by 1921 had widened into the Asian Exclusion Act.

3 comments:

Lipman said...

Must be quite difficult without knowing some forms of Chinese, and then again very interesting. There might be memoirs around, too, in particular if anyone at least a bit famous came from there.

(Phillip Minden)

Beth Kanell said...

Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Phillip. The Chinese Historical Society of New England has published a very helpful book of photos of Boston's Chinatown -- and there are articles in the Boston newspapers of 1921 also. You're right, I would need to know Chinese language and culture if I wanted to write from the perspective of someone inside the culture. But that's why the novel I'm working on (COLD MIDNIGHT) is instead from the viewpoint of a Vermont teenager -- and that's an area where I'm well qualified. We'll see the teens jump onto a 1921 train to Boston and emerge into this "other world" that reminds them of what it is to be considered an outsider.

Lipman said...

I see - that makes a lot of difference, of course.