Now Available in Stores!
Hardcover: 288 pages
Publisher: Amistad (April 14, 2015)
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
Audible Audio Edition
Listening Length: 7 hours and 11 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Publisher: Tantor Audio
Spanning four generations and moving between New York, Jamaica, and China, a powerful memoir that is a universal story of one woman’s search for her maternal grandfather and the key to her self-identity.
Thanks to her spiteful, jealous Jamaican mother, Nell Vera Lowe was cut off from her Chinese father, Samuel, when she was just a baby, after he announced he was taking a Chinese bride. By the time Nell was old enough to travel to her father’s shop in St. Anne’s Bay, he’d taken his family back to China, never learning what became of his eldest daughter. Bereft, Nell left Jamaica for New York to start a new life. But her Asian features set her apart from her Harlem neighbors and even her own children—a difference that contributed to her feeling of loneliness and loss which she instilled in her only daughter, Paula.
Years later, with a successful corporate career behind her and the arrival of her only grandchild raising questions about family and legacy, Paula decided to search for Samuel Lowe’s descendants in China. With the support of her brothers and the help of encouraging strangers, Paula eventually pieced together the full story of her grandfather’s life, following his story from China to Jamaica and back, and connecting with 300 surprised relatives who were overjoyed to meet her.
Finding Samuel Lowe is a remarkable journey about one woman’s path to self-discovery. It is a story about love and devotion that transcends time and race, and a beautiful reflection of the power of family and the interconnectedness of our world.
Finding Samuel Lowe includes a 16-page black-and-white photo insert and photos in the text.
“Finding Samuel Lowe is simply the most exciting, daring and brilliant memoir I've read in the 21st century.”
Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division
“Told through an intimate family portrait this story is a moving account of a vivid historic migration; an unyielding and dogged journey of the human spirit.”
Walter Mosley, author of Inside a Silver Box
“This is an extraordinary story of identities lost and found. Paula Madison's audacious search illuminates not only her own family's story, but a lost world of the Chinese diaspora in the Caribbean, Jamaica's mixing bowl of race and culture, and Harlem's melting pot of talent and ambition.”
Ben Jealous, Former President and CEO, NAACP
“From one corner of the world to another, from one culture to another, Madison expertly brings family together, showing that all of humanity is attached by a thread of love. This emotionally rich story is a must-read, to be sure.”
Harriette Cole, author of Jumping the Broom
“Paula, my eyes are welling, my skin is goose bumped... I am so proud of you. I am so happy for you. I am thoroughly enjoying your book and am almost finished. You are incredible and, yes, ferocious. Thank you for 43 years of friendship and loyalty.”
Eric R. Wilson
“Paula Williams Madison has accomplished an extraordinary feat: in one book and a few short years, she has brought together the history of her family, the society that is Jamaica, the history of the Hakka people of China, and her own evolving understanding of a globe crisscrossed long before our time. The intensity of her telling of the search for her mother's Chinese father and her honesty in describing the broken relations as well as the mended ones make this an important book for those who seek to know what intercultural, interracial understanding might look like.”
M. Lucey Bowen
“Paula, I just finished your book that I bought on Thursday. Thanks so much for writing this. I see so many parallels with my family. My mother's mom was from Mexico and I never knew her. Before my mother died in 2013, a 2nd cousin found me on 23andMe.com, and we connected and remained connected. With a little Internet sleuthing, I found out that my great grandfather fought in the Mexican Revolution, and that was cool. Your book has inspired me to keep looking and finding out more about my mom's side of the family. Thanks again.”
Kevin A. Jenkins
“I am almost finished reading your book... Every one needs to read this book.”