Mrs. Spring Fragrance and Other Writings


Mrs. Spring Fragrance was a popular short story collection by Sui Sin Far, pen name of Chinese-British-Canadian-American writer Edith Maude Eaton. The work is notable for being "the earliest book of fiction published in the United States by an author of mixed Chinese and white descent."[1] Although the stories in the collection were written in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they were not compiled into a single book until 1912. The original publisher was A. C. McClurg and Company of Chicago. A new scholarly edition of the book, based on the McClurg edition, was released in October 2011 by Broadview Press.

The stories are divided into two halves, "Mrs. Spring Fragrance" for adults, and "Tales of Chinese Children" for children. Set in Seattle and San Francisco, they reflect the struggles and joys in the daily lives of Chinese families in North America. Particularly poignant are the stories delineating the cultural conflicts of Eurasians and recent immigrants. In "In the Land of the Free", Eaton shows the suffering inflicted by discriminatory immigration laws.

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