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Pam Chun Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Money Dragon (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
When Strange Gods Call (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Perfect Tea Thief (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Seagull's Gardener: My Father's Last Odyssey (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Pam Chun
Pam Chun was born and grew up in Hawaii in a family of storytellers, and attended Punahou, the University of Hawaii, and she graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley.

“The Money Dragon” was named one of 2002’s Best Books of Hawaii, and “When Strange Gods Call” won a 2005 Ka Palapala Po ‘ okela Award for Excellence.

Pam has been featured at the Smithsonian, the National Archives, on NPR, and in the documentary “Hawaii’s Chinatown”, which premiered on Hawaii PBS.

Pam has been a marketing consultant to high biotech and high tech companies located in the Bay Area, and an Asian audience development consultant to the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley.

She has been a fiction judge for the 2006 and 2007 Kiriyama book Prize. She was named Outstanding Overseas Chinese by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association in 2004.

“The Money Dragon” is a stand alone novel that was released in 2002. Pam Chun, in this stunning piece of Chinese-American fiction, brings the story of Lau Ah Leong (the Money Dragon and the legendary founder of Honolulu’s Chinatown) to life. The great-granddaughter of Ah Leong. Chun reaches down deep into her family’s history in order to deliver this account which portrays the tumult and the opportunity which happens when the deep rooted traditions of the Chinese conflict with the new American culture.

Lau Ah Leong brings to this novel the spirit of the old world and of traditional Chinese culture. Rising up from his status as a poor beggar’s son, Ah Leong embarks on this lifelong journey for power and honor. His dream is to go back to China in this burst of glory and to impress the people that formerly considered him to just be insignificant. Lau, through relentless and hard work, grows to become an extremely wealthy businessman and, as a most conspicuous display of his successes, takes five wives and fathers a huge family. However at what expense?

Told in part through narration from Phoenix, the wife of Ah Leong’s first son Tat-Tung, the lines between ambition, greed, love, and duty get blurred. As Phoenix is born and grows up in China, she lives much of her life in Hawaii, as the daughter-in-law to Ah Leong. She finds she’s caught between two conflicting sets of values while family members start taking sides and the family gets ripped apart by their greed.

This is the story of Pam Chun’s family, however it’s also the story of many of Asian Americans since it portrays the traditional values of Asian cultures which often get upended in the new world. Even though this is fiction, it includes authentic historical documents like Ah Leong’s Record of Naturalization and Immigration Forms, along with pictures of Ah Leong, his family, and his huge estates.

“When Strange Gods Call” is a stand alone novel that was released in 2005. When Miki Ai’Lee (renowned art history professor) returns back home to Hawaii after being gone for 12 years, she runs into Alex, her first love, who bears some scars that he is unwilling to explain to her. He tracks temple and art thieves in the steamy jungles of Southeast Asia. She thrives in the high society glamour of art collectors.

Now her grandma is ready and willing to share their family’s darkest secret, if Miki will just listen to her. The old world of tradition and the new world of opportunity collide together, which forces Miki to pick between the heritage that holds her and the man that she loves, she finds the whispers of tradition are yet again at odds with her own desires. Making things worse, Alex and Miki’s families have known each other for four generations now. It’s been four generations of death and animosity, international murder, and corrupt politics.

“The Seagull’s Gardener: My Father’s Last Odyssey” is a non-fiction book that was released in 2012. Woody grew up in the early 1900s running barefoot in the lush valleys of Territorial Hawaii. From camping at Kailua Beach with his buddies up to when he raises his family, he is immersed in the dynamic changes of the Paradise of the Pacific.

While he approaches the age of ninety he insists that he is far too busy to even die. A story told within stories with pictures of Old Hawaii, unforgettable dreams, and signature dishes, Pam’s lyrical memoir about her dad describes their bond across distance and time.

He wails at aging, while she is frustrated by caring for him from 3,000 miles away, relatives that do not agree on his care, do not approve of her, and issues that she never thought she would have to face.

Includes family pictures never published before and some signature recipes. Includes Nationwide Caregiving Resources, specialized Hawaii resources, and 10 Things I Learned About Distance Caregiving.

“The Perfect Tea Thief” is a stand alone novel that was released in 2014. Robert Fortune detests the Celestial Kingdom and all of its people the very minute that he lands in China after the devastating Opium Wars in 1843. Under the guise of being a plant hunter for the British Horticultural Society, his secret mission is to rob China of some of its secrets of tea production, which is a pretty brazen act of industrial espionage which is going to devastate China’s 5,000 year old civilization.

Robert audaciously ventures into some prohibited lands in order to collect birds, plants, flowers, and seeds. Seduced by this Flowery Land, he pursues Jadelin, an exquisitely beautiful woman from the House of Poe, not yet aware that she is trained as a warrior just like everybody else in her family that attempts to sabotage his every move and ruin him.

“The Perfect Tea Thief” is the story of lies and deceit, in a country of tradition that crumbles under the powers of industrialization in this clash of Empires. It takes the reader back to a source of tension which still resonates to this very day between the West and China in this captivating and fast paced read based on the real life and letters of Robert Fortune.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Pam Chun

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