A new historical novel entitled Three Coins, by Russell N. Low, Three Coins recreates the world of Tong Yan Gai or Chinatown before the turn of the century. It is a world where old traditions and family values are set against the unwelcoming attitudes of the American West. Ah Ying’s determination to survive her life as a child slave is only surpassed by her desire for love and her hope for the future.
Three Coins teaches and illustrates early Chinese American history through the stories of the people whose lives shaped this history. The story is compelling because it is told by the great-grandson of Lai Wah, the railroad worker, and Ah Ying, the child slave or mui tsai.