Cooking Up "Southern Fried Rice"
Preserving An Unknown Bit of Chinese American History

       Book Background 

 Overview of Events Leading To My Book Talks

               2005

Branching Out The Banyan Tree Conference

               2006 

 Chinese Historical Society of America,  S.F. ( Jan)

Assn Asian Amer Studies Conference, Atlanta

Organization of Chinese Americans, Atlanta (March)

Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Augusta (March)

Museum of Chinese in the Americas, New York (Apr)

National Association of Asian American Professionals, Atlanta (Apr)

Who's Who in Asian American Communities 2006  (Apr)

Georgia Literary Festival, Macon, Ga. Nov. 4, 2006

San Diego Chinese Historical Museum (Dec.) 

   2007 

Chinese Historical Society of Southern California (March 7)

Kings County Public Library Hanford, Ca. May 17

Chinese Cultural Society of Stockton May 19, 2007

Chinese American Citizens' Alliance, Salinas, Ca. May 21

Foster City Lib, Aug. 19, 2007

Chi-Am Circle, Cupertino 2007 Aug. 21, 2007

I grew up in Macon, Georgia,  where my immigrant parents ran a laundry for over 25 years during a time before  the rise of the civil rights activism.  When I first contemplated writing a personal history of what it was like being the only Chinese in a town,  I did not really think there would be much interest in this story.  After all, Chinese Americans,  the primary audience, represent only about 4 percent of the U. S. population, and most of them live along the west and east coast.  Nevertheless, as I entered retirement from a long career as a professor of  psychology, I felt it would be personally rewarding to record an account of our lives in the American South followed by our sudden move to San Francisco to seek more contact with Chinese people and culture. I also felt that this account would be of some value to historians of the Chinese American experience that would otherwise soon be lost.  By chance, a colleague, Jean Bader, referred me to her good friend, Sylvia Sun Minnick in Stockton, Ca., who had published "Sam Fow," an excellent history of  Chinese Americans in the San Joaquin valley.  When I contacted her, Sylvia was very supportive and guided me toward finding my voice. We learned that we had other commonalities, as  both of us attended Lowell High School in San Francisco and we had lived only 2-3 blocks apart .  

      Luckily,  two scholars of Chinese American history found  the  amateurish website that I had created to publicize my memoir,  "Southern Fried Rice: Life in a Chinese Laundry in the Deep South" 

and contacted me.  One was Judy Yung, a prominent historian of Chinese American women (Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco).  She generously read my manuscript and gave important advice and direction. At her urging, I submitted a proposal to the Chinese Historical Society's 2005 Conference in San Francisco, "Branching Out The Banyan Tree."  

Press releases about the conference led to a  tv interview with Rosy Chu on KTVU's 'BAY AREA PEOPLE' in 2006 . 

How Audiences Felt About SFR and CL Book Talks

MY NEW CHALLENGE

I only intended to write one book,  SOUTHERN FRIED RICE,  but in the course of that project  I learned so much about the important  historical role of Chinese laundries all across the U. S. and Canada that I ended up writing a second book, Chinese Laundries: Tickets for Survival on Gold Mountain.  

 FOR  INFO: Click this link: Chinese Laundries Book Talks/Signing 

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                2008

Desert Jade Women's Group, Phoenix 3/2008

Marin County Chinese Assn. June 30, 2008

Berkeley Chinese Community  Church, July 1, 2008  

Delta State University, Cleveland Sept. 7,2008

Chinese American Citizens Alliance (CACA), Leland, Ms. Sept. 14, 2008

Jackson St. University,  Sept. 15, 2008

Chinese Community Church, Northridge, Dec. 2008  

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         2009

Bok Kai Festival Marysville, Ca.

Berkeley Chinese Community Church  

Chinese Professional Club, Houston, Oct. 19

CSULB Emeriti Lecture, Nov. 2009.

Cerritos Pub Library  Dec. 3, 2009

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VALUABLE LESSONS 

Some Things I Learned From Writing SFR

Some Things I Learned From My Audiences 

Some Things I Learned About Book Promotion 

Publish on Demand Levels the Playing Field