The list author says: "My first crush was in the 1st grade, to a wispy little Chinese girl named Claudine W. (now a famous television news anchor) in whose honor I once punched my best friendÂs tooth out for just so I could sit next to her at circle. But other than the legendary Claudine, and despite the prevalence of Chinese culture I grew up around (I was born and raised in the City of San Francisco), I never had any romantic interest in the Chinese.
Then, in 2004, at the age of 30, I arrived in Mainland China, and there my world Â and my perception of the world Â changed forever.
Since then, I have spent over 7 straight years and counting in Asia (5 in China, 1 in Japan, 1 in India), including 2 years backpacking across all 33 provinces in the P.R.C., and can say with some authority that Chinese women are nothing like how they are portrayed in white popular culture.
The ladies I have known and loved during my time in China defy all preconceptions. IÂm not quite sure how or why Chinese women have been branded as ÂsubservientÂ or Âmeek,Â but the folks who make these blind generalizations obviously have never been to China.
In the immortal words of Pearl S. Buck: "They are the strongest women in the world. Seeming always to yield, they never yield. Their men are weak beside them. Whence comes this female strength? It is the strength that centuries have give them, the strength of the unwanted."
As a tribute, then, to strong-willed, shrill, beautiful Chinese women everywhere, and the white guys who can't help fall for them, and the cultural differences that inevitably ensue, I have compiled this list of novels that romanticize, dramatize or otherwise glorify Sino-miscegenation. Some call this Asiaphilia or Yellow Fever. But all interracial labels aside, love is love, no?
Note: This list also includes books about Caucasian women who fall in love with Chinese men, for such a thing is known to happen."
"Tops off the list as the all-time best book about guys who like Chinese girls. Never mind that Suzie is a prostitute with several thousand notches on her bedpost, or that the protagonist is a broke vagabond artist. These two find love in spite of their flaws and cultural obstacles, making The World of Suzie Wong the most inspiring novel about yellow fever ever written!"
"Yes, even Pearl Buck, Nobel Prize-winning author of the classic The Good Earth, was compelled to address the issue of miscegenation, albeit in her own subdued, poetic way. In this instance, the protagonist is a blonde, all-American female who finds love in Old China, gets married and has kids. What, then, is written in Âthe letterÂ? YouÂll have to finish the book to find out."
"The lascivious adventures of real-life 19th century China expatriate icon Sir Robert Hart (1835-1911) and his not one but TWO teenage concubines. ChinaÂs Communist-run newspaper, Beijing Today, publicly denounced LofthouseÂs ÂConcubineÂ saga as Âlittle more than the authorÂs own fantasy and Asian fetish.Â"
"True story about a young, European female backpacker who arrives in 1980Âs China and proceeds to sleep with an uncountable number of Chinese men on her travels from Beijing to Hong Kong. Gamst Berg confesses her fetish for ÂvirginsÂ and Âmen in uniformÂ and makes no apologies for her bawdy and side-splittingly amusing outlook on Chinese culture."
"Experimental prose from a brutally-honest writer that you will either adore or despise, but his frankness about his sexuality, and candid descriptions of his various affairs with Chinese women, is utterly refreshing."
"No introduction is necessary for this universally-panned book. Most people say they hate it (the Communists even burned it!) yet it continues to be a best-seller, go-figure. Female protagonist cheats on her impotent Chinese boyfriend with a successful European man, etc."
"If Marco Polo had a Chinese lover (and he probably did; why wouldn't he?), then nobody but nobody is more qualified to write about it than Gary Jennings. 800-pages of graphic sex, viscous violence and Chinese mythology from the king of historical fiction."
"So what happens when the Chinese girl of your white dreams turns out to be a man? AND a spy for the Communist Party no less? Yikes! Considered a contemporary classic and turned into an award-winning play."
"Shy young American girl moves to Hong Kong, falls head-over-heels for a dapper Chinese man who pulls a Jekyll and Hyde the moment they marry. Moving to America together and having a child does little to soothe their rocky relationship."
"Harlequin newcomer Jeannie Lin debuts into the genre with her 'Golden Heart' award-winning story of a white knight - literally - who rescues a Tang Dynasty princess from the clutches of an evil warlord (redundant adjective use, I know)."
"Reimagining of real-life Manchurian-born actress/singer Yamaguchi Yoshiko, and her affairs with various Japanese and American men during the 1930s. Yes, I know she is Japanese, but throughout her career she (controversially) played a Chinese woman, so for all intents and purposes of this list she is Chinese."
"Chinese female government agent (an inspector for the Ministry of Public Security in Beijing), and her American husband get involved in a crime mystery. Is this really the same Lisa See who wrote Peony in Love?"
"Chinese-American female police officer teams up with a white insurance investigator for a mystery and then falls in love. When the reviews say ÂMei Lu is a no-nonsense copÂ you know itÂs gonna be good!"
"As I just said: what can you say about how-to books that classify Asian women into a single, homogeneous race? The word ÂretardedÂ still comes to mind. Seriously, no seriously, who buys this stuff?"
"Not specifically about China. Also guilty of classifying Asian women into a single race-gender. Apparently Chinese culture was too complex for the author to properly examine, so she focuses mostly on Japan and the Philippines."
"An unprecedented anthology of original, true stories commissioned from 28 renowned Western writers about their experiences living, learning AND LOVING in China, including Jocelyn Eikenburg's account of forbidden love with a Chinese man, and my own ribald tale about a boys night out to a brothel."
"My new, 600-page book of photography spans all 33 provinces in China. And as you can see from the lovely cover girl, I did my best to pay tribute to Chinese women across the country, from Beijing to Shanghai to Hong Kong to Tibet."