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Upend

 

 

 

 

Claire Meuschke
Noemi Press
2020

The book loosely navigates the archived immigration trial of Hong On, a biracial Alaska Native-Chinese man, in 1912 on Angel Island, CA during the Chinese Exclusion Act. Hong On was born in San Francisco, CA in 1895 and was orphaned shortly after. The concepts of U.S. government-designated recreational spaces, genocide, and intergenerational trauma are examined by Hong On’s granddaughter, the author, who sees imperialistic residue in product, place, and color naming. At the core of this book is the speaker’s Alaska Native great grandmother who is named “Unknown: Indian” on Hong On’s birth certificate.