First edition of Chin Yang Lee's The Flower Drum Song; inscribed by him and in the rare original dust jacket
The Flower Drum Song.
Lee, Chin Yang.$650.00
Item Number: 96009
New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, 1957.
First edition of Chin Yang Lee’s best known work which inspired both the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical and 1961 Academy Award-winning film. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper. Near fine in a very good dust jacket. Jacket design by Susan Foster.
Chinese American author Chin Yang Lee wrote The Flower Drum Song in the late 1950s while he was barely making a living as a teacher and journalist for San Francisco Chinatown newspapers. Lee had no initial success publishing the novel. His agent pushed Lee to send the manuscript to Farrar, Straus and Cudahy who sent it to an elderly associate for review. This associate was tragically found dead in bed and had apparently inscribed "read this!" on the front of the manuscript.The publishing house did so and The Flower Drum Song became a bestseller upon publication in 1957. The novel was adapted into a 1958 musical of the same name by Rodgers and Hammerstein and later a movie of the same title, released in 1961, starring Nancy Kwan and James Shigeta.