"A small, sad and touching book that is yet oddly exhilarating as well, because it is primary history of the highest order." -- New York Times
"The reminiscences are harrowing in their simplicity." --San Francisco Examiner
"This is a book that has long cried out for life in the hearts and memories of those who have survived incarceration on Angel Island. I rejoice that this record of our country's shame has been retrieved from the poetry written in despair on the walls of the buildings on that island." --Kay Boyle, author of Four Visions of America
is a memorial to the souls of unnamed Chinese men and women who left Cantonese homes because of poverty and hope. We are indebted to Him Mark Lai, Genny Lim, and Judy Yung for their painstaking record." --Jade Snow Wong, author of Fifth Chinese Daughter
"A compelling glimpse at a chapter of American history that only now is beginning to be written. Island
helps underscore the fact that this country is, as Walt Whitman described, 'a nation of nations.'" -- San Francisco Chronicle
To augment the translations of the poems the authors have interviewed older Chinese who once passed through Angel Island and immigration workers as well, and have set their recollections down verbatim as oral history. Together with the interviews, the poems -- angry, heroic, wrenchingly forlorn, despairing, provocative, resistant -- convey, as no secondhand or thirdhand account could ever do, what it was like to be Chinese and to be on Angel Island.
(New York Times