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Onoto Watanna – The Canadian Chinese-British Japanese Author

Winnifred Eaton (1875-1954) was a Canadian author, who published her books under a Japanese pen-name, despite her British and Chinese heritage. She was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, where she was first published at age 14, then moved to the United States, where she adopted the pseudonym Onoto Watanna and began writing under the guise of being a Japanese-American. Her books were largely met with success, and she published everything from novels to cookbooks to romance short stories, from 1899 until 1925. These are some of the more beautiful of her books. Those wishing to know more about Eaton will find Onoto Watanna: The Story of Winnifred Eaton by Diana Birchall a valuable resource.

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Beth Carswell

About Beth Carswell

I've been reading, selling, researching, loving and writing about books with AbeBooks since 2000.

2 Responses to “Onoto Watanna – The Canadian Chinese-British Japanese Author”

  1. A very unusual woman, indeed. I have the first book at the top. I don’t know if she had any say in the design of her books, but they sure are nice to look at!

  2. Beth Carswell

    No, that’s a good point, Tim – I never realized until working here that quite often authors have very little input into the cover design of their books, and possibly less so back then (particularly as a woman).