Lot 305 of 364:
Chinese-American Doctor's classic cookbook and scarce autobiography  

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Lot closed - unsold
$300 - $500

2 books by Buwei Yang Chao

Chao, Buwei Yang

New York

John Day Company




  • How to Cook and Eat in Chinese. 262 pp. (8vo), original orange pictorial cloth in dust jacket. First Edition. Dj spine sunned, soiled, chipped, loss at folds.
  • Autobiography of a Chinese Woman, 327 pp. Illustrated with photographs + 2 small maps. (8vo), original brown cloth in dust jacket. First Edition. Dj soiled and chipped; spots on boards.

The first title is famous in culinary history as the first “authentic” (non-Westernized) book of Chinese home cooking published in America, the English translation by the author’s husband being notable for adding the words “stir-fry” and “pot stickers” to the English language. The second book was the author’s autobiography of her early life as the first woman Doctor to practice western-style Chinese medicine in China and her marriage to the eminent Chinese-American linguist who became the first Professor of Oriental Languages at the University of California, Berkeley. Though she lived in the United States for much of her life – as a Harvard student in the 1920s and a permanent resident after 1938 – and, like her husband, became a US citizen, Dr. Chao was never fluent in English, so that her recipes for wartime meals she prepared for her husband’s colleagues at Harvard had to be translated into English by him, as was her now-scarce autobiography, which records her life, in China and America, up to the end of  World War II.

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Very good.

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