by Roy Cheng Tsung, 2014
Soft cover, 238 pages
A new memoir, Beyond Lowu Bridge, chronicles Roy Cheng Tsung’s 20 years in Communist China, after having spent his first 12 years growing up as a typical American boy in New York City. It is a gripping story that brings to light the way we make choices that affect not only our lives but the lives of those we love.
Roy writes “it was in May 1974 when I was on Lowu Bridge that a tiny germ of an idea came to my mind. At that time, I didn’t know what it was exactly, although I had a vague feeling that I had a story to tell. I wrote notes and short accounts that read like a ledger. I was a novice, and I lacked the skills. Soon I shelved the project.
“In 1996, I began to write in earnest. I was hesitant at first to tell my story, because I still had friends and relatives in China. Although Post-Mao China seemed to be better, the country was still under communist rule. But by then, I had two young daughters and was given a new and important purpose of writing my book. Born and raised in sunny California, my daughters had no idea of what it was like for their grandmother and father to live in totalitarian China. I wanted them to understand that freedom came with sacrifice.”
University of Sussex researcher Genevieve Dean says about the book, “Seeking to become fully Chinese, Roy Tsung tries to repress his American side, only to find that, as a ‘returned overseas Chinese,’ he is not Chinese enough in the eyes of the political authorities nor, consequently, anywhere in the tightly-controlled Chinese society. This is a book for anyone interested in this period of modern Chinese history, for anyone who has ever tried to adapt to a different social environment.”