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March 16, 1998

UCSC Forum features talk on Chinese immigrant women

Judy Yung

By Barbara McKenna

In writing about the experience of Chinese women in America, author Judy Yung decided to focus her book on San Francisco--home to nearly 50 percent of all Chinese women in the U.S. at the turn of the century. The award-winning book--Unbound Feet (1995)--traces the stages of "unbinding" that took place in the lives of Chinese immigrant women in San Francisco from the late 1800s through the end of World War II.

A recent lecture by Yung on her book will be cablecast on Community Television, Channel 72, at 8 p.m. on March 22 and 4:30 p.m. on March 25 on the show UCSC Forum.

In researching and writing her book, Yung, an associate professor of American studies at UCSC, says that she focused on two groups of women--immigrant mothers and American-born daughters. Citing such Chinese proverbs as, "The absence of talent in a woman is a virtue," Yung follows the changes in lifestyles and identities that occurred as Chinese women adapted to their new homes.

The book has received national media attention and was awarded the 1996 National Book Award in History from the Association of Asian American Studies and the Robert C. Athearn Award from the Western History Association.

Yung is also the author of Chinese Women of America: A Pictorial History (University of Washington Press, 1986) and, with Him Mark Lai and Genny Lim, Island: Poetry and History of Chinese Immigrants on Angel Island, 1910-1940 (University of Washington Press, 1991), winner of the 1982 Before Columbus Foundation Book Award.

For more information, call Community Television at (408) 425-8859.

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