Winnifred Eaton Digital Archive

The text on this page as well as the bibliography are adapted from “Newly Recovered Works by Onoto Watanna (Winnifred Eaton): A Prospectus and Checklist,” published in Legacy 21.2 (2004): 229-234.

The half-Chinese, half-English, Canadian-born Winnifred Eaton (1875-1954), writing under the pseudonym of Onoto Watanna, was the first person of Asian descent to publish a novel in the United States (Miss Numè of Japan, 1898). Perhaps more significant, she was the first Asian American to reach a national mainstream reading audience. Between 1898 and 1925 , she published over a dozen novels, most of them with Harper and Brothers, and dozens of short stories and non-fiction pieces, which appeared in mass-market periodicals such as Ladies’ Home Journal, Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, Century Magazine, and Harper’s Monthly. According to the testimony of surviving family members and Winnifred Eaton herself, her periodical publications may have neared or surpassed a hundred works. Before the Winnifred Eaton Digital Archive was established, only a small number of Eaton’s work was available to the public, in “A Half-Caste” and Other Writings (2003), edited by Linda Trinh Moser and Elizabeth Rooney.

I discovered or recovered the works included in the Winnifred Eaton Digital Archive over a period of about a decade (1993-2003). The existence of some of these works has been known for years or even decades. The Old Jinrikisha (1900), for example, had been mentioned by Eaton in interviews and letters as late as 1922 (Birchall 44), but eluded discovery simply because a viewable copy of the journal in which it appeared, the short-lived Conkey’s Home Journal, could not be located.

Of the works listed in this checklist, only the novel, the article, and two of the stories (“Eyes that Saw Not” and “A Contract”) were known previously. The time-honored method of periodical page-turning uncovered many other stories. Once I knew that Eaton had published in a given magazine, I searched the whole run, or at least the portion of it in which Eaton plausibly could have published. At times it seemed that Eaton was publishing everywhere at once. In 1902 , for example, she published stories in Smart Set (three in the first five months of the year), Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, the Metropolitan Magazine, and Harper’s Monthly; she also published an article on Japanese drama in the Critic and her third novel, The Wooing of Wistaria.  These “new” works thus confirm Eaton’s widespread popularity and productivity during the early years of the twentieth century. Indeed, “the name of Onoto Watanna” must have been “known everywhere,” as one reporter declared in 1903.

These texts provide much new fodder for Winnifred Eaton scholars. While the value of the texts themselves goes without saying, the stories from Conkey’s Home Journal (and its precursor, the American Home Journal), the Metropolitan Magazine, Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly, and Red Book Magazine are especially valuable for their use of illustrations and photographs. Eaton’s works are also important for scholars of women’s literature and early-twentieth-century American fiction because they provide an example of how nonwhite women participated in the American literary marketplace.

For the sake of completion and utility, all of Eaton’s known publications are listed below. Works included in Rooney & Moser’s “A Half-Caste” and Other Writings are so noted. All of the texts available in the online archive were coded and are hosted by the University of Virginia library; all of the texts can be located using the Virgo online library catalog at UVA. Reprint editions of novels have been noted. Several undated/unlocated works listed in the bibliographies of my book The Literary Voices of Winnifred Eaton and Birchall’s Onoto Watanna: The Story of Winnifred Eaton are not included here. The most significant of these is a serialized novel, Movie Madness, which appeared in Screen Secrets in the 1920s (an undated copy is included in Box 15 , Winnifred Eaton Reeve Fonds). Several of Eaton’s non-fiction pieces on the Hollywood film industry are included here; however, her screenplays are not. For a filmography, see The Literary Voices of Winnifred Eaton.

My thanks to Alex Montali, my student assistant in summer 2003, who helped proofread and edit many of the texts; and the University of Virginia Etext Center for coding the online editions. The site you are viewing here is a recreation (but not an exact replica) of the Winnifred Eaton Digital Archive hosted by the UVA Etext Center from 2003-2010.

Checklist of the Works of Onoto Watanna (Winnifred Eaton)

Novels

1898 Miss Numè of Japan. Chicago: Rand, McNally; reprint, Baltimore: Johns Hopkins UP, 1999.
1900 The Old Jinrikisha. Conkey’s Home Journal Feb.: 1-2 ; Mar.: 5-6 ; Apr.: 9 , 29 ; May: 4 ; June: 12-13 ; July: 9 , 12 ; Aug.: 7-8 , 12 ; Sept.: 7-8 ; Oct.: 8-9.
1901 A Japanese Nightingale. New York: Harper and Brothers; reprint, New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2002.
1902 The Wooing of Wistaria. New York: Macmillan.
1903 The Heart of Hyacinth. New York: Harper and Brothers; reprint, Seattle: U of Washington P, 2000.
1904 The Love of Azalea. New York: Dodd, Mead.
1904 Daughters of Nijo. New York: Harper and Brothers.
1906 A Japanese Blossom. New York: Harper and Brothers.
1907 The Diary of Delia (originally serialized in the Saturday Evening Post). New York: Doubleday, Page, and Co.
1910 Tama. New York: Harper and Brothers.
1912 The Honorable Miss Moonlight. New York: Harper and Brothers.
1915 Me (originally appeared in Century Magazine). New York: Century Co.; reprint, Jackson: UP of Mississippi, 1997.
Miss Spring Morning. Blue Book Jan.: 666-720.
1916 Marion (originally serialized in Hearst’s Magazine). New York: W. J. Watt.
1922 Sunny-San. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart; New York: George H. Doran.
1924 Cattle. New York: W.J. Watt.
1925 His Royal Nibs. New York: W.J. Watt.

Short Stories

1898 Prince Sagaritsu’s Patriotism.” American Home Journal Feb.: 107 , 126.
Ojio-San: A Noble’s Daughter.” American Home Journal Mar.: 142-44.
Karo.” Conkey’s Home Journal May: 4-7.
“A Half-Caste.” Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly Sept.: 489-96. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
1899 Shizu’s New Year’s Present.” Conkey’s Home Journal Jan.: 4-5.
The Story of Ido: How a Japanese Half-Caste Came into His Own.” Conkey’s Home Journal Aug.: 7-8.
His Interpreter.” Woman’s Home Journal Sept.: 9-10 ; Oct.: 11-12.
1900 A Father.” Conkey’s Home Journal Jan.: 9-10.
The Wickedness of Matsu.” Smart Set May: 137-40.
The Betrothal of Otoyo.” Smart Set Dec.: 95-97.
Amoy, A Chinese Girl.” Woman’s Home Companion Nov.: 7-8.
1901 “Two Converts.” Harper’s Monthly Sept.: 585-89. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
“Kirishima-san.” Idler Nov.: 315-21. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
“Margot.” Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly 53.2 : 202-09. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
1902 The Pot of Paint.” Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly 53.4 : 414-24.
Yoshida Yone, Lover.” Smart Set Feb.: 133-38.
Miss Perfume.” Smart Set Apr.: 79-84.
The Wife of Shimadzu.” Smart Set May: 141-47.
The Bride of Yonejiro.” Metropolitan Magazine 15.5 : 603-07.
“Eyes that Saw Not.” With Bertrand Babcock. Harper’s Monthly June: 30-38. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
“A Contract.” Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly 54.4 : 370-79. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
Count Oguri’s Quest.” Smart Set Dec.: 143-47.
1903 “The Loves of Sakura Jiro and the Three Headed Maid.” Century Magazine Mar.: 755-60. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
The Diary of Dewdrop.” Smart Set June: 37-42.
“Miss Lily and Miss Chrysanthemum.” Ladies’ Home Journal Aug.: 11-12. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
1906 “The Wrench of Chance.” Harper’s Weekly 20 Oct.: 1494-96 , 1515 ; 27 Oct.: 1531-33. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
1908 “Manoeuvres of O-yasu-san.” Saturday Evening Post 25 Jan.: 9-11 , 22. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
“A Neighbor’s Garden, My Own, and A Dream One.” Good Housekeeping Apr.: 347-53 ; May: 485-90. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
“Delia Dissents.” Saturday Evening Post 22 Aug.: 22-23. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
1909 A Daughter of Two Lands.” Red Book Magazine Nov.: 33-48.
An Unexpected Grandchild.” Lippincott’s Monthly Dec.: 689-96.
1910 The Marriage of Okiku-San.” Red Book Magazine June: 254-63.
1911 Tokiwa: A Tale of Old Japan.” Red Book Magazine May: 49-57.
1912 The Marriage of Jinyo.” Red Book Magazine Feb.: 740-44.
1919 “Lend Me Your Title.” MacLean’s Magazine Feb.: 13 , 14 , 72-74 ; Mar.: 16 , 18-19 , 66-69.
“Other People’s Troubles: An Antidote to Your Own.” Farm and Ranch Review serialized Feb.-Aug., n.p.
1922 Starving and Writing in New York.” MacLean’s Magazine 15 Oct.: 66-67.
1923 “Elspeth.” Quill Jan.: 23-30. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
1933 “Because We Were Lonely.” True Story Apr.: 28-30 , 92-96.

Non-fiction

1899 Where the Young Look Forward to Old Age.” Ladies’ Home Journal Feb.: 8.
The Life of a Japanese Girl.” Ladies’ Home Companion Apr.: 7.
1900 “New Year’s Day in Japan.” Frank Leslie’s Popular Monthly Jan.: 283-86.
A Rhapsody on Japan.” Conkey’s Home Journal July: 13.
“The Half-Caste.” Conkey’s Home Journal Nov.: 10. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
An Oriental Holiday.” Conkey’s Home Journal Dec.: 12-13.
1902 The Happy Lot of Japanese Women.” Metropolitan Magazine 15.2 : 234-37.
“Japanese Drama and the Actor.” Critic Sept.: 231-37. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
1903 The Japanese in New York.” New Metropolitan Magazine 18.1 : 51-55.
1904 “The Marvelous Miniature Trees of Japan.” Woman’s Home Companion June: 16-17. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
Japanese War News by Word O’ Mouth.” Metropolitan Magazine 20.1 : 139-41.
“Every-day Life in Japan.” Ladies’ Home Journal Oct.: 500-03 , 527-28.
1907 “The Japanese in America.” Eclectic Magazine Feb.: 100-04. (Available in A Half-Caste, ed. Rooney & Moser.)
1914 A Chinese-Japanese Cookbook. With Sara Bosse. New York: Rand, McNally.11
1923 “The Canadian Spirit in Our Literature.” Calgary Daily Herald 24 Mar., n.p. Item 132.102 in the Winnifred Eaton Reeve Fonds, University of Calgary.
1924 “Royal and Titled Ranchers in Alberta.” Montreal Daily Star 30 Aug.: 2 nd Section, 1.
1928 Butchering Brains.” Motion Picture Magazine Sept.: 28-29 , 110-11.
Honorable Movie Takee Sojin.” Motion Picture Classic Magazine Mar.: 37 , 72.
1929 What Happened to Hayakawa?Motion Picture Magazine Jan.: 33 , 90-91.
I Could Get Any Woman’s Husband!Motion Picture Classic Magazine Mar.: 21 , 80.
How Frenchmen Make Love.” Motion Picture Magazine June: 50 , 116.

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