Angela Davis-Gardner

Butterfly's Child

Random House 2011

New Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in Asian American StudiesNew Books in LiteratureNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books Network December 20, 2017 Melody Yunzi Li

Today I talked with Angela Davis-Gardner, an award-winning North Carolina-based novelist writing about Japan. Her book Butterfly’s Child (Random House, 2011) depicts the journey...

Today I talked with Angela Davis-Gardner, an award-winning North Carolina-based novelist writing about Japan. Her book Butterfly’s Child (Random House, 2011) depicts the journey of a Japanese American boy Benji, who is plucked from the security of his home in Nagasaki to live with his American father, Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, and stepmother, Kate, on their farm in Illinois. When the true that Benji’s true identity as a child born from a liaison between an officer and a geisha surfaces, Benji is set on a journey to uncover the truth about his mother’s tragic death. In this interview, Angela explains the conflicts, love, betrayal and redemption beautifully conceived and portrayed in her book.


Melody Yunzi Li, originally from Canton, China, is currently a visiting assistant professor at Transylvania University. She holds an MPhil in translation from the University of Hong Kong and is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at Washington University in St.Louis. She was also a visiting scholar at Harvard University 2015-2016. Her research areas include Asian American studies, modern Chinese literature, film and culture and diasporic Chinese literature.

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