When Friends Come From Afar

The Remarkable Story of Bernie Wong and Chicago’s Chinese American Service League
Author: Susan Blumberg-Kason
An insider’s account of the Chinatown service and activist organization
Cloth – $110
Paper – $19.95
eBook – $14.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 09/10/2024
Cloth: 09/10/2024
Series: 3 Fields Books
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About the Book

Born in Hong Kong, Bernie Wong moved to the United States in the early 1960s to attend college. A decade later, she cofounded the Chinese American Service League (CASL) to help meet the needs of the city’s isolated Chinese immigrants. Susan Blumberg-Kason draws on extensive interviews to profile the community and social justice organization. Weaving Wong’s intimate account of her own life story through the CASL’s larger history, Blumberg-Kason follows the group from its origins to its emergence as a robust social network that connects Chinatown residents to everything from daycare to immigration services to culinary education. Blumberg-Kason also traces CASL activism on issues like fair housing and violence against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At once intimate and broad in scope, When Friends Come from Afar uses one woman’s life to illuminate a bedrock Chicago institution.

About the Author

Susan Blumberg-Kason is the author of Bernardine’s Shanghai Salon: The Story of the Doyenne of Old China and Good Chinese Wife: A Love Affair with China Gone Wrong.