Forward-Looking New Memoir Shares Chinese Culture’s Core Value in Family

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Peggy Tang Strait’s “Unbound” spans more than a century of recollections, in a memorable work that depicts the lives of those Chinese who left their homeland in time of war and became de facto ambassadors of good will in the family of nations.

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A tale of family, crisis and war, leaving a supposedly safe and secure upper class life and starting out from scratch in a country half a world away, Unbound by Peggy Tang Strait is a recollection of more than a century of highly interesting times, with the 20th century as centerpiece. As a tale of family history and personal experience, Unbound offers a forward-looking perspective and matter of fact acceptance of crises leavened by a pride in tradition, respect of elders and humor.

The Tangs, the author’s family, hail from Canton. In the pre-war years, the Tangs were one of the wealthiest families in Canton. Her family was among the more enlightened of a tradition-bound culture (out of compassion, her grandmother broke from tradition to unbind her mother’s feet), which gave the author several interesting angles into various developments in modern Chinese history and an open mind for what other cultures might bring. Unfortunately this was interrupted by the Japanese invasion–her father immediately took all the money he could out of Cantonese banks and packed his family on the first steamer to Hong Kong. This changed the author and her family’s lives forever, forcing them to seek a better fortune in America.

The land that is known as Gold Mountain (Gam Saan, 金山) in Canton became the refuge for the Tangs, but first they experienced what many immigrant families would experience in America. Theirs is a tale of riches to rags, to something more important–and that was the preservation of their family and the opportunity to assimilate into a democracy, a story that could only happen in America. From the aristocracy of pre-war China to working class poverty in rural Arizona and, eventually, to the attainment of the American Dream, Peggy Tang Strait shares her Tang family with all families to be learned from and to be appreciated in the light of its strengths in the face of historical upheavals. In her own words, Peggy Strait describes the core value of her work as symbolic of family: “That sense of family is the greatest treasure of all. And that is what compelled me to write this story so that this treasure, which cannot be understood without the story, will be passed on to the next generation and to all the generations that follow.”

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About the Author

Peggy Tang Strait is Professor Emerita of Mathematics at Queens College of the City University of New York and the author of A First Course In Probability And Statistics With Applications. At age four, her family fled the Japanese invasion of China for Hongkong and then, with a tourist visa, to the United States. Because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, it took an act of Congress for her family to stay and become citizens. Her American experience began in a poor neighborhood in Phoenix, Arizona where she attended a segregated school for Mexican children. Her adolescent years were in a small rural farm town where she worked in her parent’s family operated grocery store. She develop an early interest in mathematics and studied at the University of California at Berkeley, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. Unbound is her first venture into non-mathematical writing.

Unbound * by Peggy Tang Strait
Memories of an Immigrant Daughter
Publication Date: June 24, 2013
Trade Paperback; $19.99; 140 pages; 978-1-4836-1801-2
Trade Hardback; $29.99; 140 pages; 978-1-4836-1802-9
eBook; $3.99; 978-1-4836-1803-6

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (812) 355-4079or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

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