Cover for WATANNA: A Half Caste and Other Writings. Click for larger image
Ebook Information

"A Half Caste" and Other Writings

Short stories and essays by the half-Chinese woman who remade herself as Japanese

Born Winnifred Eaton to a British father and Chinese mother, Onoto Watanna was the first novelist of Chinese descent published in the United States. Eaton "became" Watanna to escape Americans' scorn of the Chinese and to capitalize on their fascination with all things Japanese.

This volume includes nineteen of Watanna's shorter works, including thirteen short stories and six essays. "A Half Caste," the earliest essay, appeared in 1898, a year before Miss Numé: A Japanese-American Romance, the first of her bestselling novels. The last short story, “Elspeth,” appeared in 1923. Some of Watanna’s fictional characters will remind readers of the delicate but tragic Madame Butterfly, while others foreshadow types like the trickster in Maxine Hong Kingston’s Tripmaster Monkey (where Watanna makes a cameo appearance). Throughout, Watanna tells stories of people very much like herself—capable, clever, and endlessly inventive.


"Informative and reflective, thoughtful, and thought-provoking, "A Half Caste" and Other Writings opens new possibilities for reading and writing about Asian American literature, and for (re)considering the discourse of orientalism and its role in the development of personal and literary strategies for self-expression, social critique, and survival."--Canadian Literature

“What did it mean to be a ‘half caste’ in early twentieth-century North America? Winnifred Eaton lived that experience and, as Onoto Watanna, she wrote about it. This collection of her short works--some newly discovered, others long awaited by scholars--ranges from breathless magazine romance to story melodrama and provides a riveting introduction to a unique literary personality.”--Diana Birchall, author of Onoto Watanna: The Story of Winnifred Eaton


Onoto Watanna was born Winnifred Eaton in 1875 in Montreal. A prolific writer, she contributed magazine articles, cowrote a cookbook, and wrote screenplays and scenarios for Hollywood in addition to publishing popular novels like A Japanese Nightingale (later adapted for Broadway) and The Heart of Hyacinth. She died in 1954.

To order online:
//www.press.uillinois.edu/books/catalog/45nyf8kp9780252027826.html

To order by phone:
(800) 621-2736 (USA/Canada)
(773) 702-7000 (International)

Related Titles

previous book next book
Discriminating Sex - Cover
Discriminating Sex

White Leisure and the Making of the American "Oriental"

Amy Sueyoshi

Muncie, India(na) - Cover
Muncie, India(na)

Middletown and Asian America

Himanee Gupta-Carlson

Chino - Cover
Chino

Anti-Chinese Racism in Mexico, 1880-1940

Jason Oliver Chang

Disrupting Kinship - Cover
Disrupting Kinship

Transnational Politics of Korean Adoption in the United States

Kimberly D. McKee

The Fight for Asian American Civil Rights - Cover
The Fight for Asian American Civil Rights

Liberal Protestant Activism, 1900-1950

Sarah M. Griffith

The Labor of Care - Cover
The Labor of Care

Filipina Migrants and Transnational Families in the Digital Age

Valerie Francisco-Menchavez

Islanders in the Empire - Cover
Islanders in the Empire

Filipino and Puerto Rican Laborers in Hawai‘i

JoAnna Poblete