After more than two years of hard work, I am delighted to announce the publication of my newest book: Voices of the Second Wave, Chinese Americans in Seattle. For me, this book is a project of the heart, reflecting interviews with 35 wonderful people who immigrated from China, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s.
Unlike the "first wave" of Chinese immigrants, who came as laborers, spoke Cantonese, and built Chinatowns, this "second wave" of immigrants from China mostly came as students, spoke Mandarin, and were cut off from their homeland by war and revolution. Although most earned advanced degrees and got professional jobs, their experiences were bittersweet: hampered by language difficulties, they were never able to fully integrate into American life and they received no news for decades of relatives left behind.
Until now, their stories have been largely ignored. This book gives them a voice, and they tell their life stories with their own words. I wrote an introduction and compiled these oral histories into this book. Most stories have two pictures of the person: one "young" and another "recent." The book also has a time line of Chinese history and a map of China showing their birthplaces.
Because the stories are arranged alphabetically, the last one is that of my husband, Paul Yang. His tale is one of the most fascinating!
The book is available now in paperback through amazon.com.