Winnifred Eaton (1875-1954) may have been the first Asian American
woman to publish a novel. Although she was of Chinese-British
ancestry, she published under the Japanese pseudonym, Onoto
Watanna. She began writing stories at a very early age. She was
only fourteen years old when one of her stories was accepted for
publication by Montreal newspaper. Before long she had articles
published in the United States in several popular magazines,
notably the Ladies' Home Journal. Eventually, her compositions were
accepted by the prestigious Saturday Evening Post as well as by
other popular periodicals. She moved from this to writing novels,
capitalizing on her mixed ancestry to pass herself off as a
Japanese American by the name of "Onoto Watanna." Under this
pseudonym she published Japanese romance novels and short stories,
becoming widely read throughout the United States. Her second major
novel, A Japanese Nightingale was published in 1900. Her other
works include The Heart of Hyacinth (1903), The Love of Azalea
(1904), A Japanese Blossom (1906), Daughters of Nijo (1907), Tama
(1910), Sunny-San (1922) and Cattle (1923).
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