By Louis H. Chu
AIISF is proud to reprint Louis H. Chu’s short story, Bewildered, which was published in EASTWIND: Politics and Culture of Asians in the U.S, Spring/Summer 1982. It is a rare account of the detention and interrogation process at the Sansome Street facility, where Chinese and other immigrants were processed after the Angel Island Immigration Station closed in August 1940.
Chinese American novelist Louis Chu (1915-1970) left behind a rich legacy for future generations of Asian American writers. In his novel Eat a Bowl of Tea, published in 1961, Chu portrayed the conflict between a father and son in New York Chinatown with great insight and feeling. Recreating in English the rich textures of his native Sze Yup dialect, Chu captured the vitality of Chinese people and made his characters come to life as real, three dimensional human beings.
Chu’s sensitive handling of characters and situations can be seen in this earlier work, “Bewildered,” which is being published for the first time. “Bewildered” conveys an experience common to many Chinese immigrants – the anxiety that builds while waiting for reunification with one’s family.
We would like to express our gratitude to Mrs. Kang Louie and May Joan Louie for allowing AIISF to share “Bewildered” with you.