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Speech at Library of Congress

It was a big honor for me to speak at the Library of Congress on September 13, 2012.

At the invitation of Reme Grefalda, curator of the Asian American Pacific Islander collection at the Library of Congress, I spoke about my book Voices of the Second Wave: Chinese Americans in Seattle.  I focused on "why" and "how" I undertook this oral history project and told about stumbling blocks along the way. I also read quotes from three of the interviewees, expressing the conflicts they felt about their identities as Chinese Americans. The audience asked some great questions.

Two of the Chinese Americans whose life stories are in the book attended the talk: Dr. Agnes Lee and Dr. Shiang-Yu Lee, both of whom flew out from Seattle for the event. The Library of Congress has requested the original audio recordings and full-length transcripts as primary source materials for researchers interested in the "second wave" generation of Chinese immigrants to the U.S.

Also, I was interviewed recently on a new website called, answering questions about my life and writing. Here is the link.

Announcing the publication of Son of Venice

 Sequel published in June 2012: Son of Venice

In June, East West Insights published Son of Venice, A Story of Marco Polo, sequel toDaughter of Xanadu. Since then, many bloggers have featured Son of Venice in the book launch blog tour and numerous reviews have appeared. For author interviews and guest posts, see:

July 27 - I Am a Reader Not a Writer, by Kathy Habel.

July 25 - ReadingWorld, by Susan Coventry.

July 24 - Manga Maniac Cafe, by Julie, on "Weren't the Mongols Bad Guys?"

Second Wave makes waves

My book of oral histories, Voices of the Second Wave: Chinese Americans in Seattle, is starting to attract attention in the press.

Doug Chin, widely recognized as the "unofficial historian" of Seattle's Chinatown/International District, recently wrote a thoughtful review in The International Examiner, a well-respected Asian-American community newspaper. The current issue of The Examiner is chock-full of book reviews, and Doug "applauds" the publication of this book and said it "deserves a lot of credit" for telling untold stories of the ever-increasing Mandarin-speaking immigrant population.

Gabrielle Nomura, a rising star at The Bellevue Reporter who covers the arts, wrote a long article in The Scene, which is a monthly magazine for readers of several "Reporter" newspapers across the Eastside. She interviewed not only me but also Dr. Peter Ku, retired chancellor of Seattle's three community colleges, and she quotes Bellevue Deputy Mayor Conrad Lee and Maria L. Koh, who envisioned and commissioned this book.

Northwest Asian Weekly also ran an article announcing the publication of Voices of the Second Wave.

The book is now available at the University of Washington Libraries and at Seattle Public Library and has been ordered by King County Library System.  It is also for sale at the museum stores of Seattle's Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) and at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, in Marketplace @ The Wing. It will also soon be available at Island Books, Elliott Bay Book Co., Third Place Books, and the bookstores of Seattle's community colleges.

I'd love to hear your comments about this book.

Honors for Daughter of Xanadu

- Daughter of Xanadu has been published in both Mongolian  and Turkish.

- "Outstanding Merit," Bank Street College of Education's Best Books of the Year, 2012.

- National Council for the Social Studies has selected Daughter of Xanadu for its 2012 master list of Notable Tradebooks for Young People.

- The American Library Association has chosen Daughter of Xanadu as a 2012 Recommended Title for the Amelia Bloomer project, which celebrates feminist books for children and young adults.

- The paperback version of Daughter of Xanadu was published on in January 2012. It's available through your favorite bookstore and online from and The publisher is Ember, a new imprint established in May 2011 by Random House for paperback versions of "bestsellers and award winners."

I've done several readings and school visits recently. Last fall, I was busy on book tour, with seven appearances in October, ranging from Mercer Island to New Canaan, from Silverdale to Shaker Heights, from Portland, Oregon, to Youngstown, Ohio - from 'Bookfest' to 'Fall at the Mall,' from schools to skype.

Still getting great reactions from readers!

New book available!

voices cover

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

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