Southern Fried Rice: Life in a Chinese Laundry in the Deep South is my memoir about my immigrant parents and their children and their social and cultural isolation running a laundry in the Deep South from just before the Great Depression until the early 1950s where they were the only Chinese in town. Although it is the story of only one family, Southern Fried Rice has appealed to audiences differing in age, gender, ethnic background, and education level for it deals with many experiences universally encountered by immigrant families. The current focus on immigration issues in America makes Southern Fried Rice especially relevant as it promotes better understanding of the difficult lives of many immigrant families in America.
John gives an overview of the book:
Southern Fried Rice has been well received at over 20 book talk/signings across the U. S. including the Chinese Historical Society of America Museum, San Francisco, the Atlanta Chapter of the Organization of Chinese Americans, National Association of Asian American Professionals in Atlanta, Consolidated Chinese Benevolent Association of Augusta, Occidental College, California State University, Fullerton, Arizona State University, San Diego Chinese Historical Museum, Chinese American Museum of Chicago, and the Museum of Chinese in the Americas.
WHAT READERS LOVE ABOUT SOUTHERN FRIED RICE
Your book is a joy to read. It has a beautiful flow to it and an enriching quality that is easier to feel than it is to describe. Couched in humor, it deals with the painful and serious matter of day-to-day struggles of existence of a couple who came here with hardly anything more than faith in their hearts and steel in their spines.
Krishan Saxena, Kensington, California
Your book is the one that I had promised myself that I would write one day, but you went ahead and wrote it. You did a wonderful job!
Henry Tom, Frederick, Maryland
Thank you for telling your story in such an engaging manner. While your story is personal it is also universal because of its working class foundation laced with layers of Chinese ethnicity, family structure and dynamics, and the specificity of the South.
Flo Oy Wong, Artist, Sunnyvale, California
Enjoyed very much reading your family history revealing a unique experience yet sharing many of the same problems of families in Chinese laundries. Yours is one of the few written accounts of the many family-run laundries in the U. S. Thank you for the careful documentation of this history, which would be otherwise forgotten.
Tunney Lee, Boston, Massachusetts
"Southern Fried Rice" is a well-written and factually documented memoir that gave me insight into the lives of Chinese in the South, especially those living where there were no other Chinese, as you did in Macon. Your move to San Francisco must have been as much of a cultural shock for you as it was for me, an African American moving to the Bay Area from Memphis.
Leatha Ruppert, Cotati, California
"Riveting - couldn't put the book down until it was finished - it mirrored many of my own childhood experiences growing up in New Zealand in the 50s. The Chinese immigrant experience must have been the same the world over."
Helen Wong, Auckland, New Zealand
I appreciated this book, because it has given me a deeper perspective in what it means to be a second generation Chinese American of emigrant parents who operated a Chinese laundry. I understand that all minorities that emigrated to the United States in search of a better life had their struggles with survival and discrimination, this book makes me not only value and respect my parents, but also other immigrant parents who desired their children to be prosperous.
Lou Lan W. Argueta, Carson, Ca.
Born in Macon, Georgia, where his immigrant parents from China, the only Chinese in the city, owned a laundry. After moving to California, he majored in psychology at U. C. Berkeley and went on to earn a Ph.D. at Northwestern University. Author of several academic textbooks,...