During opening weekend, I took my daughter to see the new Disney/Pixar movie, Coco. It’s a movie she’s been looking forward to seeing for almost a year, since the trailers for the new movie came out quite some time ago. I didn’t have much expectations for the movie, as I figured it would be similar to a previous animated film, Book of Life, another film centered around Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead. But the movie […] Continue »
Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani is a delightful graphic novel about a young girl looking for herself, navigating two worlds and two cultures. Priyanka is your average Indian American teenager until she finds a magic pashmina in her mother’s closet. Her mother won’t ask questions about the India she left behind or about Priyanka’s father, but the pashmina opens a new window. The story follows Priyanka’s eventual journey to India and back again, all along insightfully […] Continue »
After he graduated from high school this year, Number Two Son mentioned to me that one conversation he has continually had with a close Filipino American friend regards how few of their Filipino American peers were ambitious with their college choices. Their levels of achievement and college choices seemed much low, especially compared to other Asian American students at their Silicon Valley high school and despite that many of their parents were well educated. While […] Continue »
Lisa Ko’s debut novel, The Leavers, follows a mother and son separated by immigration agents, borders, and new families. Deming Guo wakes up one day in the Bronx to find that his mother Polly has disappeared. Soon, he is Daniel Wilkinson of upstate New York. We follow Daniel as he struggles through high school, the emotional turmoil of his mom’s abrupt departure, makes a friend who isn’t white, makes a friend who was adopted from China […] 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 »
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 »
A new study from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California (CPIC), with Scarlett Lin Gomez as the lead researcher of the study, is showing an increase of breast cancer in Asian American women. This is particularly troubling because the rate among other racial groups has stabilized. The study looked at women in the San Francisco Bay Area of California, from 1988 to 2013, and included women from different Asian American backgrounds, including Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Filipino, […] 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 »
One of the (few) benefits of having teenagers is getting a glimpse of what youth culture is like these days. Given that I myself am decades removed from that time period, I like to compare what I see and hear from them to how it was when I was young. Since my kids and I all grew up in communities full of Asian Americans (unlike John), I have some perspective on how Asian American youth […] Continue »
Sonya Chung’s newest novel The Loved Ones is an intense look into love, loss, guilt, and reconciliation. Two families who share a last name find their lives intersecting. Charles Lee is the African American father in a biracial family. Hannah Lee is the daughter of Korean immigrants who babysits for his children and is present when a devastating event strikes the family. But The Loved Ones is not a simple linear tale, but rather jumps through time exploring inter-generational experiences […] Continue »
Kiwi: *WHOOSH!* You didn't get it the first several times and you certainly won't get it the next 20 times, but I'll say it again: culture... – Are Asians the Smartest Race?
Lucius Clarus: You spread more squid ink and never address the obvious fact in the room -- different races clearly have different abilities and temperaments. You avoided... – Are Asians the Smartest Race?
Kiwi: *WHOOSH!* By this point, my point is in another multiverse. Japan and the Asian tiger economies are preferable to Eastern Europe by all measures. But... – Are Asians the Smartest Race?
Sad Clown: So what? The Mongols kicked Europe's ass. So what? "Beside the point"? What is even your point? Europeans are smarter than Chinese because they beat... – Are Asians the Smartest Race?
Lucius Clarus: Beside the point. The outcome was as if they never created gunpowder weapons. The Euros kicked their arses. – Are Asians the Smartest Race?
Lucius Clarus: Lol. If you say so. Your talking points are weak and pathetic. At its worst, Eastern Europe was preferable to India, Bangladesh, China or pretty... – Are Asians the Smartest Race?