The Original Siamese Twins and Their Rendezvous With American History

Book - 2018
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Nearly a decade after his triumphant Charlie Chan biography,Yunte Huang returns with this long-awaitedportrait of Chang and Eng Bunker (1811-1874), twinsconjoined at the sternum by a band of cartilage and a fusedliver, who were "discovered" in Siam by a British merchant in1824. Bringing an Asian American perspective to this almostimplausible story, Huang depicts the twins, arriving in Bostonin 1829, first as museum exhibits but later as financially savvyshowmen who gained their freedom and traveled the backroadsof rural America to bring "entertainment" to the Jacksonianmobs. Their rise from subhuman, freak-show celebrities to richsouthern gentry; their marriage to two white sisters, resulting intwenty-one children; and their owning of slaves, is here not justanother sensational biography but a Hawthorne-like excavationof America's historical penchant for finding feast in the abnormal,for tyrannizing the "other"--a tradition that, as Huangreveals, becomes inseparable from American history itself.
Publisher: New York :, Liveright Publishing Corporation,, 2018, ©2018.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780871404473
Branch Call Number: 616. 0430922 BUN H
Characteristics: xxvi, 388 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm


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