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HTTsiang

H. T. Tsiang

Poet, playwright, and novelist. Hsi Tseng Tsiang (H. T. Tsiang) was born in China in 1899 and came to America as a child. He was involved with the Greenwich Village literary scene in the 1920s and 1930s, and self-published a number of books which he would hawk at downtown political meetings. Tsiang also appeared as an actor in Hollywood, most notably in the film Tokyo Rose. He died in 1971 in Los Angeles, CA.

books
Print

The Hanging on Union Square

Kaya Press 2013

H.T. Tsiang’s satiric, quasi-experimental novel The Hanging on Union Square explores leftist politics in Depression-era New York – an era of union busting and food lines – in an ambitious style that combines humor-laced allegory with snatches of poetry, newspaper quotations, non sequiturs, and slogans. Back in print for the first time since it was originally self-published in 1935, Kaya’s new edition of the novel follows out-of-work protagonist Mr. Nut from a workers’ cafeteria to dinner clubs and sexual exploitation in the highest echelons of society, then back again to the streets of Greenwich Village, where starving families rub shoulders with the recently evicted. In the process, Tsiang captures, hour-by-hour, Mr. Nut’s profound transformation from itinerant roustabout to radical activist. Adventurous and unclassifiable in its combination of avant-garde and proletarian concerns, The Hanging on Union Square is a major rediscovery of a uniquely American voice.

 
praise

“This is a voice to which the White world … will have to listen more and more as time passes. I do not mean to this particular young Chinese Poet, but to the movement which he voices.”

Upton Sinclair, “The Jungle”

“I finished H.T. Tsiang’s masterpiece a few hours ago and I’m still not sure where I am and what day this is. My mind has been picked apart and reassembled. I need a drink.”

Gary Shteyngart, “Super Sad True Love Story”

“I became fascinated with the Chinese-American writer H.T. Tsiang when I found a first edition of The Hanging on Union Square. It felt like slipping into another person’s hallucination.”

— Hua Hsu, “A Floating Chinaman” (forthcoming)

H. T. Tsiang news

the cover of a book / is more of a book / than the book is a book

On the top is a photograph of an original, self-published (circa 1935) copy of H.T. Tsiang’s The Hanging on Union Square—a satiric, quasi-experimental novel that explores leftist politics in Depression-era New York. True to Tsiang’s radical aesthetic, the original copy does not show the title of the book, instead questioning what a book cover really […]

The Hanging on Union Square Launches // Featured in Slate

On March 28th, the Asian/Pacific/American Institute at NYU hosted an exciting launch event for H.T. Tsiang’s The Hanging on Union Square, which Tsiang originally self-published in 1935. C0-sponsored by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop, the Asian American Arts Alliance, and the Museum of Chinese in America, the lively event featured an introduction by the book’s […]

Launch Party for The Hanging on Union Square at NYU: 3.28.13

We’re launching Kaya’s latest book–H.T. Tsiang’s The Hanging on Union Square–a satiric, quasi-experimental novel that explores leftist politics in Depression-era New York – an era of union busting and food lines. The book is back in print for the first time since it was originally self-published in 1935 and we are thrilled to have editor Floyd […]

 
 
 

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— Junot Díaz