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Pick of the paperbacks; China Men, by Maxine Hong Kingston. New York: Ballantine Books. $3.50

Maxine Hong Kingston has written the search for the Gold Mountain, which, for the Chinese, is the search for the desirable and the pragmatic, made of gold. She writes with poetry, history, and legends.

This is indeed a fierce book. It makes many demands. It is full of horrors, superstitions, occasional obscenities, but when one recovers one sees them as metaphors designed to burrow under preconceptions and blandness. It is all about the Chinese fathers --grandfathers, great-grandfathers -- who searching for the Gold Mountain, in order to prosper their families, turned east, left their villages, went out into the world, especially the United States, bringing their antiquity, their sagacity, and their leg ends with them.

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