February 28, 2008

A special gift for my future generations

I have always loved reading and writing. Reading takes me on many different journeys that I otherwise may not have the opportunity to experience. Writing makes me release my stress, and to better express thoughts and emotions.

About 15 years ago when I was still in high school I wrote a piece about being Chinese-American. Through this piece, I was able to share my experience as an immigrant to the United States and the memorable years I spent in Nampa, Idaho. I entered this short essay into a writing contest and was very happy to get third place. The $1500 savings bond that I won from the contest was not nearly as important as the fact that I got to share my writing with thousands of people.

As life went on, I forgot about this essay. I don't think I even shared it with my husband. Then one day, I received a call from Judy Yung, Professor Emerita of American Studies at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and author of the award-winning Unbound Feet: A Social History of Chinese Women in San Francisco (California, 1995).

Judy kindly told me about a book that she was working on, described as this:

This superb anthology, a diverse and illuminating collection of primary documents and stories by Chinese Americans, provides an intimate and textured history of the Chinese in America from their arrival during the California Gold Rush to the present. Among the documents are letters, speeches, testimonies, oral histories, personal memoirs, poems, essays, and folksongs; many have never been published before or have been translated into English for the first time. They bring to life the diverse voices of immigrants and American-born; laborers, merchants, and professionals; ministers and students; housewives and prostitutes; and community leaders and activists. Together, they provide insight into immigration, work, family and social life, and the longstanding fight for equality and inclusion. Featuring photographs and extensive introductions to the documents written by three leading Chinese American scholars, this compelling volume offers a panoramic perspective on the Chinese American experience and opens new vistas on American social, cultural, and political history.

I was shocked to hear that my piece was selected to be a part of this!! It truly is an honor, and I must thank Judy for this. This is so valuable to my family and I, and something I want to pass on to future generations....


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