May 6, 2010 · 6:00 PM
This location is shown only to members
Target[b] Free Thursday Author Talk: The Poker Bride
215 Center Street
New York, NY 10013
Please arrive at 6PM and RSVP to: RSVP to [masked].
in addition to Chinatown Lunch Club MU
Thu, May 6 from 6:30pm – 7:30pm
Christopher Corbett, author of the recently published nonfiction book, The Poker Bride: The First Chinese in the Wild West (Atlantic Monthly), will discuss his new book and the fate of the first Chinese sojourners who streamed into the American West during the Gold Rush. Corbett’s book – named an editor’s choice by The New York Times Book Review -focuses on the experiences of Polly Bemis, a young Chinese concubine, was brought by her owner—a wealthy Chinese merchant—by steamboat and pack train to a remote mining camp in the highlands of Idaho named Warrens. In Warrens, Polly would meet with a different fate. Her owner lost her in a poker game, having wagered his last ounce of gold dust. Her new owner was Charlie Bemis, a Connecticut Yankee who preferred gambling, reading, and playing his violin to working the mines. Polly soon found her way with her new owner to an isolated ranch on the banks of the Salmon River in central Idaho.
As the Gold Rush receded, it took with it the Chinese miners, but Polly was left behind, and as an old woman she would make headlines when she emerged from the Idaho hills nearly half a century later to visit a modern city and tell her astounding story.
Chirstopher Corebett is a former news editor and reporter with the Associated Press. He is the author of the novel, Vacationland, as well as the history Orphans Preferred: The Twisted Truth and Lasting Legend of the Pony Express. He lives in Baltimore and teaches journalism at the University of Maryland–Baltimore County.
This program is free and open to the public, courtesy of Target. RSVP to [masked].
We may go out to dinner after presentation.