Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"The Adventures of Eddie Fung"

Memoirs of Chinese-American men are hard to come by. I just finished the fascinating memoir of Eddie Fung "Chinatown kid, Texas Cowboy,Prisoner of War ,"
Eddie is now in his 80's was born and raised in San Francisco's Chinatown,ran away to become a Texas Cowboy, then enlisted in the Army during WWII and was captured by the Japanese in Java. He became the only Chinese American prisoner of war amongst the many captured soldiers who worked on the Burma to Siam railroad made famous by the movie Bridge over the River Kwai. Eddie told his story to Judy Yung who edited his oral history into this great book . Interestingly , despite their 23 year age difference Eddie and Judy fell in love during this project . Eddie proposed and Judy accepted and they are now a married couple!
His story is always engaging , at times funny , and shines with Eddie's special humility, courage, and care for others . He thought his life was nothing special, but in reading about it we realize it was quite special indeed. Part of the book deals with Eddie's desire initially to run from his Chinese identity and then his growing understanding and delight in being a Chinese -American .

Here is a picture of Eddie during his military training during WWII.

Here is a recent picture of Eddie with his biographer and wife Judy Yung .

Here is a link to a You tube video of Eddie and Judy discussing and reading from the book during a book club meeting .

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