Mrs. Spring Fragrance (1912) is a collection of short stories by Sui Sin Far. Inspired by her experience living among Chinese Americans in San Francisco and Seattle, Mrs. Spring Fragrance is considered one of the earliest works of fiction published in the United States by a woman of Chinese heritage.
In “The Inferior Woman, ” Mrs. Spring Fragrance encounters her neighbors, the Carmans, as they try to find someone to marry their son. While Mrs. Carman wants him to marry into a family of higher social standing, her son is in love with a local girl who works as a legal secretary. Known by Mrs. Carman as the “Inferior Woman, ” she has risen through hard work and perseverance to achieve her position at the law firm. Sympathetic toward her neighbor’s son, Mrs. Spring Fragrance advocates on his behalf. “In the Land of the Free” is the story of a Chinese immigrant who is separated from her young son upon arrival due to insufficient paperwork. Exploring the struggles of this woman to reclaim her son, Sui Sin Far exposes the discrimination and hardships faced by Chinese Americans due to the Chinese Exclusion Act, illuminating the byzantine and restrictive immigration policies which sadly continue under a different guise in modern America.
With a beautifully designed cover and professionally typeset manuscript, this edition of Sui Sin Far’s Mrs. Spring Fragrance is a classic of Chinese American literature reimagined for modern readers.