Chan, Jeffrey. Introduction to Eat a Bowl of Tea. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1979. Excellent introduction by a distinguished Chinese American scholar and writer. Praises Chu for his transcription of Cantonese idiom and satirical analysis of Chinatown society. Includes brief biography of Chu.
Chua, Cheng Lok. “Golden Mountain: Chinese Versions of the American Dream in Lin Yutang, Louis Chu, and Maxine Hong Kingston.” Ethnic Groups 4 (1982): 33-57. A comparison of Chu with Lin and Kingston. Analyzes the conflict between the Chinese ideal of family and the American Dream of success, happiness, and individual identity. The critical approach is historical and archetypal.
Gong, Ted. “Approaching Cultural Change Through Literature.” Amerasia Journal 7, no. 1 (1980): 73-86. Traces cultural development from Chinese to Chinese American in Monfoon Leong, Louis Chu, and Frank Chin. Examines common themes of the father-son relationship and generational conflict.
Hsiao, Ruth Y. “Facing the Incurable: Patriarchy in Eat a Bowl of Tea.” In Reading the Literatures of Asian America, edited by Shirley Geok-lin Lim and Amy Ling. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1992. Places Chu in the tradition of literary debunking of patriarchy. Theorizes that while patriarchy is portrayed as the real villain in the novel, Chu fails to free his own creative imagination from male images of women; patriarchy remains an incurable malady of Chinese society.
Kim, Elaine H. Asian American Literature: An Introduction to the Writings and Their Social Context. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1982. A groundbreaking book on Asian American literature. Chapter 4, “Portraits of Chinatown,” contains an illuminating discussion of the literary and sociological qualities of Chu’s novel.
Ling, Jinqi. “Reading for Historical Specificities: Gender Negotiations in Louis Chu’s Eat a Bowl of Tea.” MELUS 20 (1995): 35-51.