Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Fae Myenne Ng's BONE and San Francisco Chinatown

This week my students are reading Fae Myenne Ng's novel, Bone, which takes place in San Francisco's Chinatown.  Living in San Francisco, it's an entertaining read because there are so many real sites that Ng writes about in the book that we pass  in our day-to-day lives.

Today in class, we collectively assembled a map of all the sites Leila mentions in Chapter One of the book.  We determined whether or not the places actually exist (most of them do exist!) and where they're located.  We then contextualized the specific sites by including an excerpt from the book that mentions the site.

In order to more fully visualize Leila's Chinatown, we mapped all the points on a projection of a map of San Francisco Chinatown.
Designing this activity, I envisioned a starburst of colored yarn radiating outward from San Francisco's Chinatown like spokes on a wheel. Real life is much droopier.
I've transferred all the map points to a digital version of Google Maps.  Red points on the map are places that still exist.  Yellow points are sites that have closed down or were fictionalized by Fae Ng (but with approximated coordinates as to where they would be according to the book).

Please feel free to use this interactive map as a teaching resource!

Fae Ng's Bone Annotated Map