My New Book!

My New Book!
My New Book!

Friday, August 4, 2023

August 4, 2023: SiblingStudying: The Eaton Sisters

[On August 2nd, this AmericanStudier’s amazing younger sister celebrates her birthday. So this week in her honor I’ll AmericanStudy interesting American siblings!]

On two columns where I’ve highlighted the amazing Eaton sisters, and one thing I’d add here.

I’ve long called Sui Sin Far (the literary pen name of Edith Maude Eaton) one of my favorite American authors (and Americans period), and I made that case in this column for the American Writers Museum.

I hadn’t had as much of a chance to think about her equally talented and perhaps even more influential sister Onoto Watanna (the literary pen name of Winnifred Eaton) until I researched and wrote this Saturday Evening Post Considering History column (which also features their sister Sara Eaton Bosse, with whom Watanna wrote the 1914 Chinese-Japanese Cookbook).

I hope those columns are more than enough to convince you all of the uniqueness and impressiveness of this set of multiracial American siblings. But the one thing I’d add is this: I really, really shouldn’t have to, because they should already be as famous as any American literary or cultural family. The fact that they are not is a) one of so many layers to the frustrating, continuing exclusions of Asian Americans from our collective memories; and b) one of so many reasons why I’m determined to do everything I can to challenge and change that trend. Which can start with all of us celebrating the Eaton sisters, today and every day!

Special tribute post this weekend,


PS. What do you think? Sibling stories you’d highlight?

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