Introduction On Racism Epigraphs A History of the Pulps A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Glossary and Character Taxonomy Breakdown by Country of Origin Bibliography Table of Contents The Best of the Encyclopedia
Quong Lee. Quong Lee was created by Thomas Burke and appeared in a number of stories and three collections of short stories and poetry from 1916 to 1931, beginning with Limehouse Nights.
Quong Lee is an old, sad, wise Chinese man living in Limehouse, the Chinese section of London. He is an astute observer of the human condition and sees many strange, touching, and unusual occurrences from the window of his tea shop.
* I'm including the Quong Lee stories and poems in the Best of the Encyclopedia category because of the skill with which they are written. It's not that Thomas Burke was an equal of Henry James or any of the other High Art writers of the first three decades of the 20th century. Burke was a skilled entertainer, but no more than that, and he's comparable to K. & Hesketh Prichard and Gilbert Parker and similar writers. The Quong Lee stories are not "well-written" in the sense of The Spoils of Poynton. What the Quong Lee stories are, are what Henry James might call "entertainments" but with enough really good moments, and an occasional touch of sublimity, that they stand out as really good entertainments, rather than just being unjustly-forgotten bestsellers.
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