The striking images in this book by the talented photographer George Lee provide a unique-and intimate-portrait of a Chinese American community in California that stretches back for more than sixty years.

George Lee
Born in 1922, Lee was raised in the last of Santa Cruz's Chinatowns. His early photographs from the 1930s captured the generation of Chinese American immigrants from the late-nineteenth century who met with vigilante racism throughout California and were forced to live out the remainder of their lives in bachelor societies. Lee's stunning portraits provide them with a grace and dignity found in few other photographs from this era.

A veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, Lee dedicated his life to photography and studiously explored his craft until his untimely death, at the age of 76, in 1998. He served as a photographer for the Santa Cruz Sentinel for thirty years, recording floods and earthquakes and building demolitions, and he also contributed several award-winning images to the Associated Press.

But the subject most dear to his heart was his family. His collected oeuvre captured five generations of family members-his wife and daughter, mother and siblings, nieces and nephews, in-laws and shirt-tail cousins-so that by the end of his life he had provided an unparalleled record of the Chinese American experience in California.
With text by seven of Lee's friends and family members-all well-known Northern California writers-Chinatown Dreams: The Life and Photography of George Lee celebrates not only Lee's artistic achievements, but the man himself. This book confirms his significant contribution to American documentary photography.

Award-winning photographer George Lee (1922-1998) chronicled five generations of a Chinese American community on the Central California coast. Chinatown Dreams offers a multicultural appreciation of Lee's life and his impressive collection of documentary photographs.

The Authors:

Geoffrey Dunn, a longtime family friend of George Lee's, is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker and historian living in Santa Cruz.

Lisa Liu Grady, Lee's cousin-by-marriage, is a freelance writer with nonfiction publications in the San Francisco Chronicle and San Francisco Examiner.

Tony Hill, founder of Access Unlimited, currently serves as the creator of "Welcoming Diversity" workshops and seminars.

James D. Houston, is the author of a dozen works of fiction and nonfiction exploring the cultures and histories of the western United States and the Asia/Pacific region.

Sandy Lydon is Historian Emeritus at Cabrillo College and is the author of Chinese Gold: The Chinese in the Monterey Bay Region.

Morton Marcus has published nine volumes of poetry and one novel, and his work has been selected to appear in over seventy-five anthologies in the United States, Europe and Australia.

Mark Stuart Ong has been a book designer for more than twenty-five years, and his designs have won multiple awards from Bookbuilders West and the Association of American University Presses.

George Ow, Jr., George Lee's nephew, is a Santa Cruz businessman, land developer, publisher and body-boarder.

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