This fascinating book is a window into the lives of Chinese workers who built the transcontinental railways across North America, a glimpse into the racism, starvation, and disease they faced every day while working the most difficult and dangerous jobs.

The diary of Dukesang Wong, speaks vividly about his experiences and emotions during six years working on the Canadian Pacific Railway. It is the only first person account known to exist. Much of it survives today in excerpts translated in the 60s by Wong’s granddaughter, Wanda Joy Hoe.

 

Editor David McIlwraith provides background and considers why the diarist’s voice and other Chinese voices have been silenced for so long.

"The misery I see daily disturbs my thoughts, and I find it very difficult to think clearly about anything except my companions’ suffering in this new land to which we all so desired to come."—Dukesang Wong

The Diary of Dukesang Wong is a poignant story of how life's many harsh realities repeatedly test the human spirit.

Encapsulating grief and despair, honour and desire, misery and hardship, determination and hope, Wong's voice brings to light the haunting chronicles of thousands of Chinese people in North America who suffered silently in an inhospitable, racist society”. 

—Jenny Kwan, MP, Vancouver East

Jenny Kwan is a Hong Kong-born Canadian politician. She currently serves as NDP member of the House of Commons representing Vancouver-East and is the NDP Critic for Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, as well as Critic for Multiculturalism.