On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival

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When she moved from New York to Washington she added a new skill to her portfolio: interior design.


Soon she was writing books about design, decoration and tapestry. She also caught the travel bug, and fell in love with Europe. It was while on a trip to Spain and Italy that she heard news that her son Harold had been injured in a railway accident. She had no idea how serious his injuries were.

She booked a passage back on the first ship she could — Titanic. Boarding the liner — a floating palace fitted out in sumptuous fashion on its maiden voyage — must have made her feel at home. Helen quickly became a popular passenger, mainly among the men travelling alone. She may have been an independent woman, but she enjoyed the attention that her beauty and confidence brought her. Also on board were two men with whom she shared mutual friends: Edward Kent, a distinguished year-old American architect, and Hugh Woolner, 45, a British art dealer on his way to the US.

Both were single and, as Helen later claimed in her writings on Titanic, had been told by friends to keep a chivalrous eye on her during the voyage. The younger, less melancholy Woolner appeared to be more to her taste. He contacted her by note, asking her to join him for a cocktail before lunch on the second day of the voyage. To avoid looking too keen, Helen bided her time, recruiting the steward and asking him to point out Woolner as she sat on the deck the next morning talking with Kent. Her latest protector was Colonel Archibald Gracie, a wealthy retired military man who was one of the last men to leave Titanic and wrote one of the most famous accounts of its sinking.

Throughout the voyage she never seemed to be far from a man, a cocktail and a barbed comment.

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Finally she met Woolner. It emerged that he had identified her in the same way she had him — by enlisting a steward. It was with Woolner that she made her secret visits to the bow. But one morning she went on her own and wrote of the thrill. She was a monarch of the seas as her bow cut into the waves… How grand she was, how titanic. But it was towards Woolner that she always gravitated. Whether the romance ever progressed beyond a frisson is not recorded, but when thoughts of her injured son crossed her mind it was all she could do, she said, not to lay a head on his shoulder.

However, decorum, and a desire not to offend his buttoned-up English sensibilities, prevented her from any show of emotion. Available March 12 from Archipelago. By Sergei Lebedev. Translated from the Russian by Antonina W. Available March 19 from New Vessel Press. By Leonardo Padura. Translated from the Spanish by Peter Bush.

On Gold Mountain

Available June 16 from Bitter Lemon Press. A year-old man with a broken marriage and dead-end career goes to Rome to conduct research and falls in love with a young woman. By Nora Bossong. Translated from the German by Alexander Booth. Available December 15 from Seagull Books. The first English translation of the renowned Greek poet, exploring folklore and modern history. Original German poems from the nineteenth century poet alongside English translations, reflecting on a return to God and a celebration of the Jewish people. By Heinrich Heine. By Jonas Bonnier. Translated from the Swedish by Alice Menzies.

Available May 28 from Other Press. A new biography of one of the most important playwrights of the 19th century. By Ivo de Figueiredo. Translated from the Norwegian by Robert Ferguson. Available April 2 from Yale University Press. By Jin Yong. Translated from the Chinese by Anna Holmwood. Available September 17 from St. By Sigrun Palsdottir. Translated from the Icelandic by Lytton Smith. Available July 23 from Open Letter Books. A writer obsessed with American cinema embarks on a journey that takes him from New York to a lake in Italy.

By Yannick Haenel. Translated from the French by Teresa Fagan. Available April 2 from Other Press. A debut novel that chronicles the fall of Rhodesia through the early days of Zimbabwe. By Novuyo Rosa Tshuma. This mix of reportage, essay and personal reflection attempts to reckon with the massacre of Chinese immigrants in Mexico. Translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney. Available April 16 from Graywolf.

By Marcus Tullius Cicero. Translated from the Latin by Philip Freeman. Available November 5 from Princeton University Press. A fiction writer scours through police archives and uncovers deep histories of systematic transgressions. Translated from the Spanish by Eduardo Aparicio. Available June 1 from University of Texas Press. Based on true events, this is a story about love and courage in precolonial Ghana. By Ayesha Harruna Attah. God has an existential crisis after he falls in love with a human who is an atheist. By Giacomo Sartori. Translated from the Italian by Frederika Randall.

By Brigitte Reimann. Available April 23 from Seagull Books. In order to remember her father during his prolonged absence, a young girl reminisces about him through his diaries. By Humayun Azad. Translated from the Bengali by Arunuva Sinha. Available April 23 from Amazon Crossing. By Ahmet Altan. Available October 1 from Other Press. A collection of the speeches of the Nobel Prize-winning author who died in , now available for the first time in English.

Translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman. By Delphine Minoui. Translated from the French by Emma Ramadan. The author documents her fears, doubts and tender memories of caring for a sick son and two other children. By Lise Marzouk. Available October 29 from Other Press. A freelance operative is caught in a triangle of espionage as reality unravels and memory can no longer be counted on.

Available July 2 from Floating World Comics. A corpse burner at a Beijing crematorium approaches his retirement and reflects on his past, bringing to life the world of working-class gay men in China. By Mu Cao. Translated from the Chinese by Scott E. The Norwegian artist meditates on the creative process of writing and how it clarifies the mind and pinpoints the truth in life.

Translated from the Norwegian by Ingvild Burkey. Available September 4 from Yale University Press. By Elena Ferrante. Available November 19 from Europa. A retracing of a day years ago in attempts to figure out what happened at a hotel, where a cast of colorful characters and backdrops lead to more information. By Sergio Chejfec. Translated from the Spanish by Heather Cleary. Available September 24 from Open Letter. A focus on the Greek language and how its poets and philosophers relate to modern times. By Andrea Marcolongo. Available October 1 from Europa.

A woman tries to process her trauma after the bank where she works is robbed. By Dana Grigorcea. Translated from the German by Alta L. One of the foremost historians of the Spanish Civil War delves into the violence of May Translated from the Spanish by Paul Sharkey. Available August 6 from AK Press. Originally published in , these two novellas involve a young woman in the throes of sexual and romantic troubles. Translated from the German by Peter Wortsman. Available April 2 from Archipelago.

A Venezuelan woman who has buried her mother in Caracas faces chaos and violence when she is offered a terrible way to escape the country. By Karina Sainz Borgo. Translated from the Spanish by Elizabeth Bryer. Available October 15 from HarperVia. Trapped in a room with his lover, a man reflects on the seemingly unrelated events and details that shaped the dystopian city they live in.

Translated from the Spanish by Thomas Bunstead. Available November 5 from Coffee House Press. After witnessing his mother having sex with a Fascist commander, a boy channels his frustration and confusion into the javelin until he becomes a local champion. By Paolo Volponi. Translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon. By Stefan Zweig. Translated from the German by Will Stone. Available September 3 from Pushkin. An examination of the effects of migration, religious and ethnic identity and postcolonial history on contemporary France.

By Seloua Luste Boulbina. Translated from the French by Laura Hengehold. Available July 1 from Indiana University Press. An untalented singer, catapulted by media attention, becomes a star in this satire of the Weimar Republic. By Gabriele Tergit. Translated from the German by Sophie Duvernoy. Twenty-eight poems that circle the story of a truck accident and contemplate mortality. By Chantal Maillard. Translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert. In this existential detective story, residents of a small village start to disappear.

By Jean Giono. Translated from the French by Alyson Waters. A variety of characters in dark and perverse fables, from an ex-prostitute to anticommunists and an elephant. By Eka Kurniawan. Available October 1 from Verso. Translated from the Norwegian by Neil Smith. Available July 9 from Knopf. A blues singer attempts suicide by jumping off a bridge and wakes up in a hospital with his personal memories lost. Available November 19 from Other Press. A collection of stories by the esteemed German filmmaker and author exploring love in its many forms.

By Alexander Kluge. Translated from the German by Wieland Hoban. Translated from the German by Shelley Frisch. By Niviaq Korneliussen. Translated from the Danish by Anna Halager. A man endures an exhausting journey when he is mistakenly hired to write about the last wolf of Spain. Available December 10 from New Directions. By Robert Merle. Translated from the French by T.

Jefferson Kline. By Louis Althusser. Translated from the French by G. Available November 26 from Verso. By Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. Available April 30 from Transit Books. A teenager catapulted to national attention after telling a lie meets an elderly immigrant caught in a lie of identity in this exploration of the consequences unleashed by individual choices.

By Ayelet Gundar-Goshen. Translated from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston. Available September 24 from Little, Brown. By Lu Yao. Translated from the Chinese by Chloe Estep. Available March 19 from Amazon Crossing. A novel-biography hybrid of the English painter David Hockney, charting his college years through the turbulent era of the AIDS epidemic. By Catherine Cusset. Translated from the French by Teresa Lavender Fagan.

Available May 14 from Other Press. By Jaime Manrique. By Hans Blumenberg. A debut novel about the emotional journey of a young woman who was raped as a child. Translated from the French by Tina Kover. Available March 19 from Europa. A father, his grown daughter and a cat embark on a road trip that takes a bizarre, revealing turn. By Pascal Garnier. Translated from the French by Gallic Books. Available August 20 from Gallic Books. An American woman gets an email from her first love and is taken back to the tumultuous time she spent as a college student in Naples.

By Heddi Goodrich. Translated from the Italian by Heddi Goodrich. Available September 10 from HarperVia. By Enrique Vila-Matas. Accused by a well-connected individual of a crime he did not commit, Inspector Maigret does everything he can to prove his innocence. By Georges Simenon.

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Translated from the French by Howard Curtis. Available September 3 from Penguin Books. An unnamed narrator, her lover and her androgynous roommate are caught in a fraught love triangle. By Ingeborg Bachmann. Available May 28 from New Directions. By Saud Alsanousi. Translated from the Kuwaiti Arabic by Sawad Hussain. Available November 12 from Amazon Crossing. By Jan Stocklassa. Translated from the Swedish by Tara F.

Available October 1 from Amazon Crossing. By Asja Bakic. Translated from the Croatian by Jennifer Zoble. Available March 19 from Feminist Press. Matter and Form, Self-Evidence and Surprise. By Alain Badiou. A renegade Dutch colonial struggles to end the exploitation of Indonesian peasants. By Multatuli. By Marguerite Duras. Available October 1 from Dorothy. A fictional account of the Duke of Milan turning to Leonardo da Vinci for help when a man is found to be murdered.

By Marco Malvaldi. Available October 15 from Europa. A young novelist and her editor try to preserve literature on an unnamed island where things begin to disappear. By Yoko Ogawa. Translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder. Available August 13 from Pantheon. A multifaceted portrait of Clemens von Metternich, a man labeled as a 19th century reactionary conservative. By Wolfram Siemann.

https://www.encotrad.com/components/2433-kennenlernen-hochzeitszeitung.php Translated from the German by Daniel Steuer. Available November 5 from Belknap Press. In this second book of the Mirror Visitor Quartet, Ophelia, promoted to Vice-storyteller of Pole, finds herself implicated in a criminal investigation. By Christelle Dabos. Translated from the French by Hildegarde Serle. By Cees Nooteboom. Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer. Twelve stories about colonial Goa, looking at the social and religious structures of the once-Portuguese colony. By Vimala Devi. Translated from the Portuguese by Paul Melo e Castro.

By Samanta Schweblin. A successful consultant goes on the run after witnessing a suspicious incident and is followed by a mysterious man. By Charles den Tex. Translated from the Dutch by Nancy Forest-Flier. Available June 4 from World Editions. When a journalist is killed on the job, her legacy is honored by a collaboration between news organizations around the world, her story highlighting the corruption that lives on today.

By Carlo Bonini. A mysterious child with the power to see into the future protects his adoptive family. Translated from the Spanish by Simon Bruni. Available April 16 from Amazon Crossing. By Zahia Rahmani. Translated from the French by Matthew Reeck. By Emmanuel Bove. Translated from the French by Janet Louth. By Edited by Neerja Mattoo. Translated from the Kashmiri by Neerja Mattoo.

Available September 15 from Zubaan Books. From Homer to Aristotle, ten lessons taken from the classics of the Western canon. By Piero Boitani. Available August 6 from Europa. An examination of the Portuguese-American press, analyzing the political, economic, social and cultural roles of ethnic media in the United States. Translated from the Portuguese by Serena Rivera. Available November 29 from University of Massachusetts. Available July 9 from Europa. By Zsofia Ban. Translated from the Hungarian by Jim Tucker.

By Kim Man-Jung. Translated from the Korean by Heinz Insu Fenkl. Available December 17 from Seven Stories Press. The first complete English translation of a landmark trilogy in contemporary Spanish literature.

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By Davide Enia. Two people open a bookstore dedicated to their favorite literature. As the store gains popularity, they face threats and animosity. Available August 20 from Europa. Translated from the French by Cole Swensen. Available March 29 from New Directions.

Rozenbaumas traces his Lithuanian boyhood, his years in Europe and Central Asia, his escape from Soviet Russia and the new life he builds in Paris. By Moishe Rozenbaumas. Translated from the French by Jonathan Layton. Available June 3 from Syracuse University Press.

Translated from the French by Richard Philcox. A family from Syria tries to integrate into society in France, encountering the demons of technology and terrorism. By Mahir Guven. The final essay of the French philosopher, written while he was imprisoned for Resistance activities. Translated from the French by Knox Peden. A cri de coeur about the end of the free world, written after Roth fled to Paris on the day Hitler seized power in Germany in By Joseph Roth.

Available September 24 from Pushkin. A posthumous collection of essays on the nature of ugliness, the seduction of mysteries and the beginnings of language. By Umberto Eco. Translated from the Italian by Alastair McEwen. Available October 22 from Belknap Press. A historical graphic novel tracing the life of a Romanian Jewish immigrant who becomes one of the richest men in Europe. By Fabien Nury. Translated from the French by Ivanka Hahnenberger. Available September 18 from Dead Reckoning. The story of an Argentine woman told through her relationship with various artists and their works.

Available April 9 from Catapult. The explorer and missionary Dr. By Petina Gappah. Available September 10 from Scribner. By Fernand Braudel. Available July 16 from Europa. Fifteen case studies that examine religious intolerance, political persecution and other situations faced by refugees and asylum seekers. By Philipp Ther. Translated from the German by Jeremiah Riemer. Available November 26 from Princeton University Press. Stuck in a passionless marriage, a woman who survived a terrorist attack encounters the love of her youth and begins a fraught affair.

By Zeruya Shalev. Available November 5 from Other Press. A thinly disguised recounting of the assassination of the Russian Grand Duke Sergei Aleksandrovich that reveals the violent and shadowy workings of the political underground of pre-revolutionary Russia. By Boris Savinkov. Translated from the Russian by Michael Katz. Available May 28 from University of Pittsburgh Press. By Nicolas Mahler.

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  • Translated from the German by James Reidel. An argument for the rigorous investigation and analysis of Indian history, to better understand the present. The Seattle Story, First, to come clean, the book hits a bullseye with many of my reading interests: 19th century US history, California history all , biographies and memoirs, culinary books. It's all those things. And something else entirely.

    What it is is it should be taught in California schools of which I am an unfortunate graduate. There's a lot t This book is wild. There's a lot that was merrily skipped over in grades long story about California and the US' racist past. And this book spares no rod for that nonsense. It looks long and hard at the Exclusion Act of and the subsequent "Driving Out" white people enacting violence against Chinese immigrants. It looks long and hard at the anti-Chinese immigration practices and procedures in this country as filtered through San Francisco and Angel Island.

    But it's also a sweet and rolicking comedy and drama, by turns, telling the story of a long romance and subsequent betrayal, a wartime caution, and of course, how during the s California tried to kill its young My PhD in progress. Did you know that California only rescinded its laws forbidding interracial marriages in ? I did not know that. That is not that long ago. California, get it together, girl. The book's sweet spot is easily the incredibly poetic 19th century section what.

    It's let down quite a bit by everything after the author's birth, including her ha-ha-cringe trip to China to connect with her family's relatives in rural Guangdong, replete with American Abroad faux-pas. I am old. I do not want this. I want better than this. Still, as the book wound down to its inevitable conclusion everyone you just read about is dead , I dug it.

    I really enjoyed it a huge amount. I skived off apple-picking to get a few extra chapters in. Seriously, California. This would be an excellent required reading for schools. View all 4 comments. Quite a book. The amount of research that went into this is somewhat mind boggling. Lisa's Chinese great grandfather had such an incredible life, if he was a fictional character it would be a little bit hard to believe. I especially liked the first sections about railroads and the family establishing their stores. As it progressed it was of particular interest to me, being from Los Angeles, to read about the development of Chinatown.

    Nov 13, Lisa rated it it was ok Shelves: ordered. I picked this up expecting another fiction book by Lisa See. So I was surprised to find it was the true story. Nevertheless it was fascinating to learn of her history and that of the other Chinese immigrants. The mixed marriage was so unusual at that time.

    View 1 comment. Jul 25, Joanne rated it really liked it. Detailed and illuminating view of the Chinese immigration experience in the United States. I suspect much of this carefully assembled information will be new to most readers. Lisa See has crafted the book painstakingly and with love. Shelves: biographies , non-fiction , get-from-library , history. I probably would not of picked this book up to read if I had not decided to join my local book club this year.

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    This is February's book for in which it will be discussed, and I'll be able to meet the author through Skype. I'm looking forward to that. I'm really glad I read it, as I learned so much about the Chinese immigration here to the United States, and how they contributed to the city of Los Angeles, CA when Los Angeles just started out from the ground up.

    Being that I live right by Los I probably would not of picked this book up to read if I had not decided to join my local book club this year. Being that I live right by Los Angeles makes this extra special, so when the author talked about how the family had their businesses locally around me, I was thrilled to think, "HEY! I know those cities! Large Chinese families and what they went through to get to the U. They were prejudiced within their family customs of only marrying into pure Chinese to continue the family line.

    Marrying a Caucasian was just not something you were suppose to do, but I love that despite all that, it happened anyways, because, well, love knows no color or race. Without her I doubt the family business would of ever been successful. She treated everyone equal. She even put in place Fong See's original store employees with her words that she isn't a "White Ghost" what the Chinese called the Caucasians at that time. As the story continues, it talks about how Fong See marries several times during his life four wives total --which is part of the Chinese culture at that time.

    Women were below men and they were to be subservient to their husbands. The book talks about all the layers of what it was like to be a Chinese in China, how it was like to be a Chinese in America, and how it changed as time went on, depending on if you had money or not and what the immigration laws were at the time. It's come a long ways since then, and so it opened my eyes to the Chinese culture and history at that time. How they contributed to the growth of the cities in the United States, and the railroads that were built.

    By the end of the book she had written about all the families involved and it was a bit overwhelming trying to remember who was son or daughter or cousin to who, etc. It makes for a good genealogical history for the See family though. Maybe I just got tired of trying to keep track, but I was glad the story was over when it was done.

    I did enjoy the very very end though when Lise See finds out that part of her original story was not accurate, and how she found out some other truths instead through other relatives that were not originally interviewed for this book the first time around. One thing I notice about people from older generations: they were very private and didn't talk about personal matters, especially matters they were embarrassed about within their family history. So, I'm sure there's more to her story than even the author knows about.

    All in all a great book, but be prepared for a long read. May 04, Heather B. Particularly interesting glimpse of early LA and Pasadena history. Feb 03, Lori rated it liked it. On Gold Mountain is the history of the See family and like most histories it is most interesting to the one telling it. For me, this book club choice was boring with a capital B. Approximately pages of family history from Lisa See's great great grandfathers immigration to work on the transcontinetal railroad to her latest sojourn to the small Chinese town of Dimato to meet her great grandfathers and great uncles third and fourth family relatives from their concubines left in China.

    Make your On Gold Mountain is the history of the See family and like most histories it is most interesting to the one telling it. Make your head spin? Keeping the memebers of the original See family straight was tough but trying to keep up with the second wives, third wives and fourth wives and their children was frustrating and boring. It seemed to me that this was in essence the American story. It told about the lives of immigrants who came to a new place to find wealth and happiness and instead found discrimination, back breaking work and in the Fong See's case success.

    Lisa See interjects throughout the book facts regarding Chinese discrimination and hardship through the years as this group of immigrants struggle to become citizens with equal rights in this country. In all the most amazing part of the book for me was the marriage between Fong See and Letticie Pruitt. This was an unheard of union at the time and must have required a bravery on both their parts.

    The fact that this couple produced four sons and one daugther and two successful import companies is no small feat. As the book went on it was heartbreaking to read about the distance, petty differences, and shortcomings between the five original See children. I suppose that their story is also the story of every family. As children grow up they often grow apart. What original immigrant parents value their children often turn against. In the end, Lisa See provided a very detailed account of her families joys, hardships, success and failures.

    For me, it was about pages too long and in the end bittersweet. As with every Lisa See book I have read, I learned a lot about Chinese culture, and in this book, the difficulties they had in coming to this country. Putting it I; The form of a family history gave fascinating insights, with cultural differences, immigration issues and the laws that governed them. Reading about the struggles of those children, and their children, who were not considered Chinese and certainly not considered white was interesting.

    I was particularly interested in the descriptions places and businesses that occupied an area so close to where I have lived most of my life. This is the history of the Chinese side of the family of author Lisa See.

    Through research and talking to relatives, she has been able to trace back the beginnings of her family in America, when her great grandfather arrived from China when he was still in his teens, and pretty much uneducated. Despite the lack of education, he had ambition; he worked hard and became a successful businessman. He married a Caucasian woman, which was almost unheard of in those days. They fought prejudice and discr This is the history of the Chinese side of the family of author Lisa See.

    They fought prejudice and discrimination, and went on to raise children who became successful too. Most of the book covers this part of the family, though it does briefly touch upon the lives of the author's parents, and her trip to China before she wrote the book to meet other relatives.

    This book is rich in history of the family, and of the experiences of the Chinese immigrants and Chinese Americans in California at a time when they had to deal with a lot of racism. I really enjoyed this book; it read more like a novel rather than just a dry history. I felt I really go to know the family and felt saddened when members passed away, and I was a little sad when the book ended and I had to "leave" the family.

    I thought that her great grandfather was an amazing man; I didn't always agree with his ways or opinions, but I had to admire his work ethic and the importance he placed on family. It's impressive that he came to this country with nothing, never learned to read but through determination and hard work became a highly respected and wealthy man.

    He lived to be almost years old, and he saw a lot of changes in technology and society in that time; it was interesting to read how he conflicted at times to keep up with the modern world but still be able to live within the old traditions too. I love Lisa See's fiction and I found this memoir interesting.

    I learned a lot more about the immigration of Chinese and the forming of the West Coast. I found that part of the book fascinating. But at times the book just dragged for me. Other reviewers say that this feels like a novel--but it never feels like one to me. Not totally pleasure reading. Near the end of the book, Ms. See summarizes all of her relatives lives as in who they married, where they lived, and how many children they had.

    Th I love Lisa See's fiction and I found this memoir interesting. This reminded me of being in my grandparents house with my grandmother and aunt talking about people I didn't know in the same manner. At that point, I simply didn't care. What I did like was the historical aspect, written from a personal level--learning about how the railroad was formed, what roadblocks white people put in the way of the Chinese, how immigration has always been so unfair, and how recently the laws changed to allow Chinese and Caucasians to marry.

    She focuses primarily on her great-grandfather's life as the arc of the story, including the three generations of Caucasian women who married into this sprawling Chinese-American family.

    On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival
    On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival
    On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival
    On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival
    On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival
    On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival On Gold Mountain: A Family Memoir of Love, Struggle and Survival

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