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
Vanessa Hua’s debut collection of short stories, Deceit and Other Possibilities, guides readers through a “deceit” to provide a compelling portrait of human nature. The spotlight falls on a range of individuals, a Hong Kong celebrity, a Korean American pastor, a Mexican American learning an unorthodox trade from his father. Not about spies nor lies precisely, each story is a portrait of a life — choices that unravel to reveal who we are against who we want […] Continue »
The Hope of Another Spring: Takuichi Fujii, Artists and Wartime Witness brings Fujii’s art to a broader audience with the stunning pages from a diary he kept while incarcerated during World War II. Written by Barbara Johns and with an introduction by the artist’s grandson Sandy Kita, this book offers a historical, art historical, and also deeply personal insight on to Takuichi Fujii. The first half delves into Fujii’s biography, providing an overview of his […] Continue »
Heroine Worship by Sarah Kuhn is the riveting sequel to Heroine Complex, starring not just one, but two badass Asian American superheroines. You may or may not recall that I loved Heroine Complex when it came out last summer. The first book in this series followed Evie Tanaka as she morphed from sidekick to full blown superhero with fire throwing powers. Throw in a budding romance thrown in and an at times testy relationship with her best friend, […] Continue »
8Asians and Stone Bridge Press are teaming up to give away two copies of Jeanette Arakawa’s The Little Exile. It’s the story of a Japanese American middle school girl sent to an internment camp during World War II. As Koji put it a few weeks ago in his review: The novel is a must read for anyone interested in what it was like in the time after Pearl Harbor for Japanese Americans to what life was like […] Continue »
Cilla Lee-Jenkins: Future Author Extraordinaire is the debut novel from author Susan Tan about a spunky and spirited half-white, half-Chinese eight and half year old with grand visions for her future and astute insight into her past. Cilla is our narrator, and this is her memoir–her first step to reaching her destiny as Future Author Extraordinaire. Now I know I’m not the target audience for Cilla Lee-Jenkins (ages 8-12 says her publisher’s website), but I did thoroughly […] Continue »
The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, the latest novel from author Lisa See, is a story of mothers and daughters. Li-Yan is a member of an ethnic minority in the tea mountains of Yunnan, China, growing up in a time of immense change for the region. From a small child learning to harvest tea, we follow her journey into adulthood, her struggle with her culture’s traditions and what they mean when she gives birth to her own […] Continue »
The Best We Could Do is a beautifully drawn and beautifully narrated memoir by Thi Bui. It is the story of her family and how she reckoned with their past, flight from Vietnam, family members lost and found again…and all the whirling emotions that always come with anything that has to do with family. None other than Viet Thanh Nguyen graces the cover with the recommendation, “a book to break your heart and heal it.” And […] Continue »
Min Jin Lee’s second novel Pachinko follows several generations of a Korean family living under Japanese colonialism. In the 1930s in a small town in colonial Korea, a young woman named Sunja is abandoned by her wealthy lover, but saved by a young minister who marries her and takes her to Japan. If there can be said to be a central character it is Sunja, though Lee weaves such an intricate tale as to make it hard […] Continue »
Shanthi Sekaran’s novel Lucky Boy is the bewitching story of two mothers and their love and expectations for themselves and the one boy each calls their own. Young Solimar Castro Valdez braves the border crossing in pursuit of a better life in California. In the turmoil of the experience, she finds love. At the end of it, she’ll be expecting. Kavya Reddy, already married several years to her husband Rishi, is looking for the next step […] Continue »
Tell Me Everything You Don’t Remember: The Stroke That Changed My Life by Christine Hyung-Oak Lee is a compelling memoir about the author’s reinvention after a life-changing stroke at the age of 33. Eloquently written, Lee guides readers through the trauma of her stroke while interweaving honest self-reflection during a period in which she was in many ways, not herself, through to her evolution as a writer and a newly defined sense of self. It can […] Continue »
Viet Thanh Nguyen’s newest book, The Refugees, is a luminous collection of eight short stories that takes piercingly intimate looks at the lives of refugees, of those caught between worlds, of those caught in a moment. The Pulitzer Prize winning author’s recent books included The Sympathizer, a wry novel about a spy, and Nothing Ever Dies, an academic and philosophical look at historical memory, power, and the Vietnam War. The Refugees is nothing like these two. I should not say […] Continue »
Flying Lessons & Other Stories, edited by Ellen Oh, is a delightful and engaging collection of short stories from such luminaries as Grace Lin, Kwame Alexander, and Walter Dean Myers. The book emerged out of the ever-important We Need Diverse Books campaign, a pretty straight forward plea. Their mission? “Putting more books featuring diverse characters into the hands of all children.” Their vision? “A world in which all children can see themselves in the pages of […] Continue »
TheRealTruth: In the end, the real deeper issue has always been Filipino-American identity crisis. We can disguise this as a "Asian vs Pacific islander" debate, but... – Are Filipinos Asian or Pacific Islanders?
TheRealTruth: "Extra darK" hahahaha as if there are no dark Asians in Asia? Seems like you've never been to Malaysia, Indonesia,Cambodia, or even Thailand. Notice how... – Are Filipinos Asian or Pacific Islanders?
TheRealTruth: So being extra dark makes someone not Asian? Ever been to Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia? lol even the Philippines has extra light skin people. What's... – Are Filipinos Asian or Pacific Islanders?
Hamban: Wow, this thread is a blast from the past. “Hamban” is neither my first nor last name. It is a transliteration of a Taiwanese/Hokkien/Minnan word... – Immigrant Linguistic Generation Gap