Cameron House was founded in 1874 to provide refuge for those vulnerable to sexual slavery and prostitution. That changed with the arrival of pastor "Grandpa Dick" in the 1940s, when he began preying upon the children of San Francisco’s Chinatown. In her first feature for Alta, The White Devil’s Daughters author Julia Flynn Siler examines the painful history of Cameron House and how for decades, its reverend was able to exploit the young people in his care. Read "The Safe Place That Became Unsafe."
Author and journalist Grace Hwang Lynch joined Siler in conversation.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Julia Flynn Siler is a New York Times bestselling author and journalist. Her most recent book, The White Devil’s Daughters: The Women Who Fought Slavery in San Francisco’s Chinatown, was a New York Times Editors’ Choice and a finalist for the California Book Award. Among her other books is Lost Kingdom: Hawaii’s Last Queen, the Sugar Kings, and America’s First Imperial Adventure. Her first book, The House of Mondavi: The Rise and Fall of an American Wine Dynasty, was a finalist for a James Beard Award and a Gerald Loeb Award for distinguished reporting. A veteran journalist, Siler is a longtime contributor to and former staff writer for the Wall Street Journal and has been a guest commentator on PBS, the BBC, CNBC, and CNN. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two sons.
ABOUT THE MODERATOR
Grace Hwang Lynch is a San Francisco Bay Area journalist and essayist with an eye for Asian American culture and food. She has contributed to PRI, NPR, Tin House, and Catapult and is always up for a conversation about sourdough baking or Taiwanese movies. Follow her on Twitter @GraceHwangLynch.