A deeply reported look at the Chinese immigrant community in the United States, casting a new light on what it means to seek the American dreamNearly three years ago, journalist Lauren Hilgers received an unexpected call. Hello, Lauren! a man shouted in halting Mandarin. We might be seeing you in New York again soon! The voice belonged to Zhuang Liehong, a Chinese man who had been arrested in his home country for leading a string of protests, and whom Hilgers had met the previous year while reporting a story. Despite zero contacts and a shaky grasp of English, Zhuang explained that he and his wife, Little Yan, had a plan to escape from their American tour group and move to Flushing, Queens, to escape persecution back home. A few weeks later, they arrived on Hilgers's doorstep. With a novelistic eye for character and detail, Hilgers weaves their story with a larger investigation of the Chinese community in Flushing, one of the fastest-growing immigrant enclaves in the US. There's Tang Yuanjun, a former Tiananmen Square leader who has come to terms with living a shadow life in America as his friends and family continue their own in China. And Karen, one of Little Yan's friends from night school, who was kidnapped by her relatives yet remains hopeful, working part-time in a nail salon as she attends vocational school for hotel work. Patriot Number One is Hilgers's nuanced, through-the-looking-glass story of the twenty-first-century American dream. Zhuang and Little Yan's challenges reveal a world hidden in plain sight: the byzantine network of employment agencies and language schools, of underground banks and illegal dormitories that allow immigrants to survive. Amid a raging immigration debate on the national stage, Hilgers's deeply reported and beautifully wrought account paints a revealing portrait of just what it takes to survive....
|Title||:||Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown|
|Number of Pages||:||336 pages|
|Url Type||:||Home » Patriot » Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown|
Patriot Number One: American Dreams in Chinatown Reviews
I don't know about you, but I don't think that I could master reading Chinese characters or even do a credible communication in even one of the many dialects. The reverse of this is true for each of the many Chinese immigrants in New York and elsewhere in the English speaking world.
This book gives the rest of us a view into Wukan village life and indignities, the government reaction to low level rebellion, the need and process of political asylum seeking, the incredible monetary and emotional c ...more
Although this reads novelistically, it is the true account of a young family from China who manage to forge a new life chasing the elusive American dream. Timely and relevant, it tells how Zhuang feels he must relocate after his experiences as a dissident, and courageously moves with his wife, Little Yen, without much money, a working ability in English, a support system, or even a realistic knowledge of how life would play out in Queens where he has his heart set on thriving. Chapters are clear ...more
The author spent six years in China, and had been back in America two years when a contact from her expatriate time phoned her suddenly, saying he would see her soon in New York. This was totally unexpected, although she knew that Zhuang Liehong and his wife, Little Yan, were hoping to escape from China and seek political asylum in the United States. Zhuang was a political activist, seeking to reform the local system in Wukan, the village where he lived. Corruption was rife, and he wanted justic ...more
Although confusing at times, this book is a somewhat captivating look at what it's like to be a Chinese immigrant in New York; as well as what it's like to protest corrupt government officials in a village in China. Zhuang Liehong helped lead a protest in Wukan, Guangdong province in 2011, but then fled to the United States in 2014, with his wife Little Yan, when he feared being arrested. They left their infant son behind with Little Yan's family, hoping to send for him soon.
Author Lauren Hilger ...more
5 bold stars to Patriot Number One, a nonfiction masterpiece! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
Lauren Hilgers is an American journalist who met a man named Zhuang while reporting on site in his village in China. Zhuang, a free-thinker, had been arrested for staging protests and was labeled a dissident. He called Lauren one day to say he would be traveling to America and had plans to abandon his tour group, along with his wife, and live in Chinatown in Flushing, New York.
I found the build-up of what would happen with ...more
Patriot Number One is the story of a Chinese man named Zhuang Liehong who ends up in New York after leaving his own Chinese village during political upheaval. The author captures the struggles and trials of living as an undocumented immigrant in America during this time and what Liehong and his wife must do in order to survive. The author writes with much detail, care, and in an incredibly engaging manner. I would highly recommend this book!
Contemporary immigration issues take center stage in this humane story of exile and renewal. Journalist Hilgers lived in Shanghai for six years and this is where she meets a young and passionate protestor, Zhuang Liehong. Fearing arrest from corrupt officials and impressed by stories of American freedom and abundance, he and his wife Little Yan leave their infant son in 2014 and end up in the Chinese immigrant neighborhood of Flushing in New York City. Zhuang and Little Yan eventually get asylum ...more
This is an enlightening look at the ordeal of immigrants in the United States, especially those from China. The focus is primarily on Zhuang and his wife, Little Han, and their sometimes rocky road to find a place for themselves while still trying to stay in touch with the protest movement that led them to flee their home. Hilgers also sheds an important light on the oppressive regime and lack of real freedom for the people of China, particularly those from the more rural areas of the country. I ...more