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The Other Asians

October 29, 1989

I've just had the opportunity to read Bharati Mukherjee's review of Ronald Takaki's "Strangers From a Different Shore" (Book Review, Sept. 24). As an Asian-American writer myself, I have two bones to pick:

(1) Mukherjee doesn't point out that Takaki's title is misleading: His book deals mainly with Chinese and Japanese, excluding other Asians, such as Mukherjee and me. This is a common mistake; I once read something called "A History of Asian Cinema" that only dealt with Chinese and Japanese cinema.

(2) The first Asian immigrants to reach American shores (excepting the Eskimos, of course) were not Chinese, as she states in her review, but Filipinos, settling in what is now Louisiana before the American Revolution. It's also highly likely that many Malays jumped ship in Mexico to escape the rigors of the Pacific crossing in the Manila Galleon Trade, in the 18th Century.

JOSE EMILIANO ALZONA, LONG BEACH

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