Sharing A Search for Chinese American Identity
In 2002, after a long career in academia as a professor of psychology I reduced my load to a half-time basis. With more time to reflect on many issues, I returned to a question that I had avoided many times during my life, namely, how do I, as a second-generation Chinese American fit in a predominantly black and white society. I grew up in Macon, Georgia, where our family operated a laundry during the years before the civil rights era. We were the only Chinese in town, so it was difficult for me to understand who I was, ethnically speaking. Even after we moved to San Francisco when I was an adolescent, it was still difficult for me to know what it meant to be a Chinese American because I was so different from the San Francisco Chinese who had lived so closely among other Chinese all of their lives. Then just as I was 'becoming' Chinese American, I moved to other places where few Chinese lived, so I had to just forget about or neglect my Chinese-ness and concentrate on my career development. I focused on being a color-neutral 'person.'
My journey into an attempt to understand how my ethnic identity was formed led me to write a memoir that I eventually published in 2005 as "Southern Fried Rice: Life in A Chinese Laundry in the Deep South." Most people I know in California are puzzled when they learn of my southern roots, wondering why my parents settled in Georgia where there were so few Chinese. I soon realized that here was an important story to preserve and share but no one was recording this bit of the Chinese American experience. At the same time, I felt the market would be small and no major publisher would take the financial risk with it. In fact, my hometown university press liked the story but declined to publish it precisely for this reason. Thus, I turned to publish-on-demand (POD) printing. This web journal describes this process as well as some of the experiences I encountered in my efforts to promote the book myself using 'guerilla marketing.'
The site will not discuss book content and objectives as other sites exist for that purpose: http://www.wix.com/yinandyang/yinandyangpress. One of my hopes in describing my experiences in getting the word out about my book and its message is that the lessons I learned may be helpful to other authors struggling to get their work recognized.
Next Page: "My Book Promotion"Tour"
Click link to see: Book Talk and Signing Tour