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Race, Space & Place: Two books for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month

By Mike Sonksen
KCET

cheng_thechangs coverIt is no secret that the San Gabriel Valley is one of the epicenters of Asian Pacific American culture. The first book discussed unpacks the innovative ways racial identity is shaped by place in the San Gabriel Valley. "The Changs Next Door To The Diazes," recently published by the University of Minnesota Press, delivers an in-depth portrait of race and place in the SGV. Author Wendy Cheng zeroes in on the Western part of the region, specifically the cities of Alhambra, Monterey Park, San Gabriel, and Rosemead with some coverage of San Marino, Temple City, South San Gabriel, and other adjacent areas. As much as the book's theme is implicit in the title, Cheng thoughtfully highlights the progressive demographics of the area by offering candid portraits of the dozens of local residents she interviewed over a few year period.

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