A game on the high seas
University of Iowa
Huang narrates the game of chess between the original Siamese twins, Eng and Chang Bunker, and the newly elected president of Liberia, Edward James Roye, aboard a steamship traveling from Liverpool to New York City in 1870. In some ways, the leisurely chess game on the Palmyra, a welcome interruption of themonotony of a long oceanic voyage, was an intermission to a large historical drama unfolding in nineteenth-century America. The twins trip abroad led them to a game of chess with the black man who was the symbol of the emancipation. As the chess pieces moved across the checkered board on the Palmyra, boatloads of freed blacks were traveling in the opposite direction toward Liberia, the land of liberty.
Copyright © Spring 2017 Iowa Review.
Huang, Y. (2017). A game on the high seas. Iowa Review, 47(1), 130-143.