Penguin Books will reissue C.Y. Lee's best-selling novel, "The Flower Drum Song," Sept. 3.
The reissue, which coincides with the revival of the same-named Broadway musical (Flower Drum Song begins previews at the Virginia Theatre on Sept. 23), features a new preface by author Lee as well as an introduction by playwright David Henry Hwang, who has supplied a new book for the upcoming Broadway production. In his introduction, Hwang writes, "In my view 'The Flower Drum Song' represents a major achievement in American literature: it is an Asian American classic. I am thrilled it will once again grace the bookshelves of our land, for new generations to discover, evaluate and enjoy, in an America whose changing landscape C.Y. Lee first captured decades ago."
Originally published in 1957, "The Flower Drum Song" was the inspiration for Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical, which bowed on Broadway in 1958. Set in San Francisco's Chinatown, the novel tells the story of the Wang family and is an astute portrayal of immigrant life and the bonds of family.
Author Chin Y. Lee was born in China in 1917 and moved to the U.S. in 1943, graduating from Yale with an MFA in playwriting in 1947. "The Flower Drum Song" was his first novel, and he has since published several others as well as stories and articles that have appeared in The New Yorker, Theatre Arts, Writer's Digest and Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. A C.Y. Lee Archive was established at Boston University's Mugar Memorial Library, and he currently lives in Alhambra, California.
The softback novel is 272 pages in length and is priced at $14. Tickets to the Broadway revival starring Tony winner Lea Salonga are available by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200.