8 Asians

Posts by Lily

Chinese American, born and raised in Boston, live and work in New York. I like thick-skinned dumplings, flip flops, baseball, and sour gummy worms. I write about things, sometimes snarkily. I review things, sometimes with opinions. And I do the Twitter thing @lilyvwong

8Books Review: “Emergency Contact” by Mary H.K. Choi

8Books Review: "Emergency Contact" by Mary H.K. Choi

Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi is such a delightful YA novel, I can’t even tell you. Penny is starting college in Austin, TX hoping to be a writer. Sam works at a cafe and sleeps there too, stuck on his ex and having put aside his dreams of becoming a documentary filmmaker. Sam and Penny meet (surprise). Through a funny turn of events, they start texting, but don’t interact IRL again for awhile. As […] Continue »

8Books Review: “Bury What We Cannot Take” by Kirstin Chen

8Books Review: "Bury What We Cannot Take" by Kirstin Chen

Bury What We Cannot Take, the latest novel from author Kirstin Chen set in Mao’s China, is a doozy. After 12-year-old Ah Liam reports his grandmother to the Communist Party, the family must flee their little island off the mainland. His mother applies for temporary exit visas to go to Hong Kong where his father lives. But she is told that she can either take Ah Liam or her daughter San San, leaving one behind […] Continue »

8Books Review: Though I Get Home by YZ Chin

8Books Review: Though I Get Home by YZ Chin

Though I Get Home by YZ Chin is an intricate series of short intertwined vignettes following a small host of characters tied to Malaysia. Isabella Sin’s time in a notorious prison. Grandfather’s stories about working for a white man when Malaysia was still Malaya. Howie Ho in Silicon Valley. Howie Ho in Malaysia looking for a wife. Isa at a protest. Bets predicting whether the monsoons will come. Ibrahim on patrol, on a mission. Threads […] Continue »

8Books Review: “The Prince and the Dressmaker” by Jen Wang

8Books Review: "The Prince and the Dressmaker" by Jen Wang

The Prince and the Dressmaker is a delightful graphic novel about friendship and secrets and identity and love. Prince Sebastian is supposed to be looking for a bride. But at night, he secretly dons fashion forward dresses and emerges as the mysterious Lady Crystallia with the help of his friend and dressmaker, Frances. Set in Paris, Jen Wang has created an extraordinary array of imaginative and beautifully drawn dresses and costumes that pepper a story […] Continue »

8Books Review: Go Home!

8Books Review: Go Home!

This is a review for Go Home! a new anthology out from Asian American Writers Workshop and Feminist Press, edited by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, with a foreword by Viet Thanh Nguyen. Ok that was for the SEO. Now let’s begin this not-really review. Why not really? Because 1. I’m mostly stealing from the pages in this book with roman numerals and 2. I’m not going to tell you hardly anything about the book or whether […] Continue »

8Books Review: Secrets We Kept by Krystal Sital

8Books Review: Secrets We Kept by Krystal Sital

Krystal Sital’s debut memoir, Secrets We Kept: Three Women of Trinidad, is an intimate and powerful memoir about three generations of her family — their stories, their traumas, their secrets, and their relationship to the author’s grandfather. Eloquently written and deeply personal, Sital dives deep into her own history, the contradictions, and the troublesome relationships between men and women that powerfully shaped her grandmother and then her mother’s lives on the island they were all born on. […] Continue »

8Books Review: “The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore” by Kim Fu

8Books Review: "The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore" by Kim Fu

Kim Fu’s latest novel The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore is a gripping tale about a group of teenage girls at summer camp who set off for a fateful kayaking trip. Opening at Camp Forevermore, the novel then jumps through time and perspective, following the girls into their futures, but always returning to camp and that trip. Slowly, Fu offers more and more details about the moment that acts as the gravitational center of the novel. What […] Continue »

8Books: “Not Your Villain” by CB Lee

8Books: "Not Your Villain" by CB Lee

Not Your Villain is the page turning sequel to CB Lee’s delightful Not Your Sidekick. Villain picks up probably midstream with Sidekick, eventually merging plot lines. It follows shapeshifter Bells Broussard, best friends with Sidekick‘s Jess Tran, on his official, but secret, journey to becoming a HERO! But along the way, he and his friends realize that things may not be as they seem. Unearthing a massive cover-up turns Bells into the country’s most wanted villain… A heartwarming bunch of friends, a […] Continue »

NYC Theater Review: ‘Panorama’ at La MaMa

NYC Theater Review: 'Panorama' at La MaMa

Panorama is a world premiere play from Italian duo Motus showing at La MaMa (66 East 4th Street) as part of The Public’s Under the Radar Festival until January 21. Though the description for the show is a bit dense–“proposing a post-nationalistic identity for all the populations of the world, focusing on the concept of fluid identity and nomad identity”–the play itself is actually an intimate look at the lives of the artists who make up […] Continue »

NYC Theater Review: Once On This Island

NYC Theater Review: Once On This Island

Once on This Island, now playing at the Circle in the Square Theatre (W. 50th), is an utter delight. Your heart will swell and weep and swell again before the night’s over. The musical, set on a Caribbean island, follows Ti Moune, a young girl who’s fallen in love with someone from the other side of the island. Kept apart by class and culture, Ti Moune is guided by the gods on a remarkable journey. […] Continue »

8Books Review: “An Excess Male” by Maggie Shen King

8Books Review: "An Excess Male" by Maggie Shen King

Maggie Shen King’s debut novel An Excess Male is a thrilling ride through a dystopia future where there is many more than one excess male. Some time in the not so distant future, China has so many men, that families include multiple husbands–husbands who must compete in an ultra-competitive, dowry-driven market to ever get married at all. The novel follows four main characters, shifting perspectives with each chapter. The first is Wei-guo, a bachelor who has […] Continue »

8Books Review: “Stolen Oranges” by Max Yeh

8Books Review: "Stolen Oranges" by Max Yeh

Stolen Oranges, a new novel by Max Yeh, is a whirlwind of a historical tale, recounting a series of letters written between Miguel Cervantes (of Don Quixote fame) and a Ming emperor as told by their discoverer–a Chinese American historian. I was first drawn to this novel by the back cover description: “this dazzling meditation on the intricacies of memory, language, and time.” And when it showed up at my doorstep, by the small size […] Continue »