NEW YORK — The author of the best-selling “The Flower Drum Song” has died. C.Y. Lee, whose novel was adapted into a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical and Oscar-nominated movie, was 102.
Lee’s son, Jay Lee, told The Associated Press on Monday that his father died Nov. 8 in Los Angeles. The family decided at the time not to make his death public.
“Flower Drum Song,” the story of Chinese immigrants in San Francisco, was published in 1957. It attained widespread popularity despite criticism that it stereotyped Chinese culture. Lee would that say he wanted to reach a general audience.
The Rodgers and Hammerstein show, directed by Gene Kelly, ran on Broadway from 1958-60. A 1961 movie adaptation, a rare Hollywood production with an Asian cast, was nominated for five Academy Awards.