Book summary: My Chinese Marriage by Mae Frankin

1921 BY KATHERINE ANNE PORTER

In 1907, a seventeen-year-old Scotch-Irish girl named Mae Munro Watkins met nineteen-year-old Tiam Hock Franking of Amoy, China, while attending high school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Their growing love intensified later while both were students at the University of Michigan, where Mae studied Latin and German and Tiam prepared for a career in international law. Because of the legal and social restrictions in the early 1900s, interracial relationships such as theirs were bitterly and publicly discouraged. Nevertheless, despite opposition to their relationship from both their families, Mae and Tiam married and later moved to China. There Mae raised three children, taught college English, and helped Tiam with his own teaching and legal work. And, by her own conscious choice, Mae also succeeded in becoming a proper Chinese wife and daughter-in-law. Working from interviews with Mae Franking and from material contained in Franking's original manuscript, Katherine Anne Porter ghostwrote Mae's story in 1920 for Asia: The American Magazine on the Orient. Asia published My Chinese Marriage as a four-part series, and subsequently Duffield and Company published it unchanged in book form. Mae Franking's original manuscript was lost, so there can be no direct comparison between Franking's manuscript and Porter's work

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