A Novel Discusses Asian Latin America
Monkey Hunting: Asia meets Latin America in a novel
The newest novel by Cuban-American writer, Cristina Garcia, narrates the story of five generations of a Chinese-Cuban family
"What do you get when you cross thousands of years of Chinese dynasties with the sugarcane plantations of 19th Century Cuba and the rhythm of the African slaves? Well, in addition to an exciting travel in time, you get Monkey Hunting (Alfred A. Knopf, 2003) Cuban-born Cristina Garcia’s latest novel.
“This was the hardest thing I’d ever written because it was so far from my own experience,” Garcia said in a recent interview with the independent paper, LA Weekly. “I had to keep fighting off self-inflicted charges of ‘Fraud!’ every working day of it. Basically, my main character is a 19th-century Chinese male. Need I say more?”
That man is named Chen Pan, a failed farmer who left China after signing a contract to work “beyond the edge of the world to Cuba.” But as soon as he arrives at the island, he’s sold to slavery and forced to work in a sugarcane plantation. The novel spans five generations of the Chen family, including Chen Pan’s granddaughter, Chen Fang, who’s raised as a boy in China, and Domingo Chen, Chen Pan’s great-great-grandson, who after the Revolution migrates to New York and ends up in Vietnam...."
Original link: http://www.laprensa-sandiego.org/archieve/may16-03/monkey.htm