DOING RESEARCH AND WRITING a book is a labor of love, and I was fortunate to enjoy the generous help of many colleagues, friends, and family members.
Brokering Belonging is dedicated to the memory of Edgar Wickberg of the University of British Columbia. Ed was a kind mentor and incisive critic in my journeys through Chinese Canadian history since my undergraduate student days. Ed’s intellectual generosity, broad approach to knowledge, and commitment to community history have guided my own academic work. Following his example, I learned to read modern and classical Chinese. These skills revealed new evidence so compelling that I put aside my dissertation and started an entirely new book organized around the insight that Chinese Canadians had approached Canada, the United States, and China as a single field of opportunity. Ed’s critical readings of this book’s early chapters reflected his deep immersion in Chinese diaspora, Chinese, Canadian, U.S., and Asian American history.
My dear friend Andrea Goldman, a China historian at the University of California, Los Angeles, proved a steadfast intellectual companion throughout the research and writing process. She read through a number of early draft chapters, and we discussed Brokering Belonging from start to finish, including during many late night phone calls. Andrea helped to strengthen the book’s connections to China studies, and she was a helpful critic of Asian American history. She offered both theoretical and practical suggestions which helped the book reach its full potential.
Timothy Brook, a China historian at the University of British Columbia, was my graduate advisor at the University of Toronto. I am grateful for