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Kwaidan Book Club: Madame Butterfly

  • Sun, June 12, 2016
  • 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop

Hello All! We hope that you are having a wonderful summer. Join us as we read and discuss Madame Butterfly by John Kuther Long.

*Please help support Tubby & Coo's Mid-City Book Shop by ordering your copy through them. Make sure to mention that it is for the Kwaidan Book Club (Japan Society of New Orleans's Book Club) for a special discount :-)*


The book Madame Butterfly was published in 1898 at the height of American fascination with Japanese culture. An American naval officer, Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton, arrives in Japan to take up his duties on a ship docked in Nagasaki. On the suggestion of a friend, he takes a Japanese wife, Cho-Cho-San, for the duration of his stay. Little does he know that after he leaves, Cho-Cho-San gives birth to their child. As time goes on, Cho-Cho- San is convinced that Pinkerton will return to her someday.

Puccini's opera, Madame Butterfly, is based on this beautiful story of love, tragedy, and hope.


Born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, Long had been admitted to the bar in Philadelphia on October 29, 1881, and become a practicing lawyer. On January 17, 1882, he married Mary Jane Sprenkle. He died at age 66 on October 31, 1927 having spent the last two months of his life at a sanatorium in Clifton Springs, New York. The obituary in The New York Times of November 1, 1927 quoted his own interpretation of himself as "a sentimentalist, and a feminist and proud of it".

Madame Butterfly is based on the recollections of Long's sister, Jennie Correll, who had been to Japan with her husband—a Methodist missionary, and was mainly influenced by Pierre Loti's 1887 novel Madame Chrysanthème. It was published in Century Magazine in 1898, together with some of Long's other short fiction.


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New Orleans, LA 70156-6785

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