William Poy Lee


Born and raised in the dual worlds of San Francisco's bohemian, edgy North Beach and Chinatown's collectivist and ancient traditions.

The author veers between bouts of responsible career advancement and artistic endeavors. As an international attorney for Bank of American, he traveled globally. As an Ad Man, his clients included Coca-Cola, Chivas Regal, Martell Cognac, Shideido, and other Fortune 500 companies. As a Silicon Valley contractor, he compiled the prospectus for some of the largest M&As.

In 1998, the author became a full-time writer, his acclaimed memoir was published in 2007. He lived in Beijing 2009-2013 and now resides in Dali, Yunnan, where he writes full-time. He wakes up to clouds over Erhai Lake, sunrise over the Cangshan mountains, bird songs, and fresh, delicious local produce and meats.

Portsmouth Square Stories: Tales of A San Francisco Childhood was completed in Dali. The author is starting his novel, based in modern China.

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Where to buy in print


Portsmouth Square Stories: Tales of A San Francisco Childhood
Price: $1.99 USD. Words: 64,060. Language: American English. Published: July 10, 2013. Categories: Nonfiction » Biography » Autobiographies & Memoirs, Essay » Literature
A bricolage of childhood stories circa 1950 San Francisco. The nabe center is Portsmouth Square: beatniks, writers, Irish hookers, Negro evangelicals, WW II vets, cops, and Chinese families gather to sun and protect the sacredness of childhood as urban Tom Sawyers race cable cars uphill, catch crabs on the bayside, pick raspberries at Coit Tower, feed leaping sea lions, and such like mischief.

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