Author John Jung signs with Penumbra Literary

Author John Jung has recently signed with Penumbra Literary!  Jung is an accomplished author who wrote four books on the history of the Chinese in America.  Jung is also the Professor of Psychology Emeritus at California State University, Long Beach where he taught for 40 years.

According to Jung, his approach to history “goes beyond dates and events to examine the life experiences of Chinese immigrants.”  He seeks to understand how Chinese immigrants coped with and overcame hostile societal prejudices against the Chinese and other “Orientals” from the late 1800s until the mid-to-late 20th century.  Many of these Chinese families carved out a niche in American society by operating family businesses such as laundries, grocery stores, and restaurants.  By establishing their own family businesses, they were able to enable their children to gain higher education that moved them beyond these humble origins into successful careers in many prestigious fields.

Jung’s first book which examines such themes is a memoir on growing up in Georgia’s Jim Crow South, entitled Southern Fried Rice: Life in A Chinese Laundry in the Deep South.  His second book, published in 2007, Chinese Laundries: Tickets to Survival on Gold Mountain, examines the significant role that their laundries had on the economic survival of Chinese immigrants throughout North America from around the 1870s to 1970s.  In 2008, he published Chopsticks in the Land of Cotton: Lives of Mississippi Delta Chinese Grocers, a book about the social history of the few Chinese immigrants who came to this region in the late 1800s to run grocery stores mainly in black neighborhoods.   His fourth book, Sweet and Sour: Life in Chinese Family Restaurants, published in 2010, is a social history of Chinese restaurants and the lives of families that operated this popular ethnic business for over a century.

Penumbra Literary looks forward to working with author John Jung to achieve an even wider audience for his important and revealing books.



  1. Congratulations, your books about the Chinese American immigrant experience beyond the major cities fill a huge gap in our history. Your works are informative and inspire others to share their story. Thank you for your research skills and dedicaton!

  2. Frieda, thank you for your kind words. Indeed, John Jung’s books fill an important gap in the Chinese American immigrant experience, and more widely, in the American discourse. Penumbra Literary looks forward to working with author John Jung.

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