A number of years ago I stumbled upon a series of children’s books, subtitled “Tales from the Chinese Zodiac“. There was a book for the Chinese New Year, and I eagerly bought the one for the Year of the Snake, glad to find something to help my then 3 year old daughter appreciate the coming Chinese New Year. Fast forward to 2017 and the last of the series has come out, to celebrate the Year […] Continue »
In the Asian ethnoburb where I live, one sees three kinds of buses. One kind is the Santa Clara Valley Transit public transportation bus, and another is the kind is the tech bus, as white Google buses pick people up and drop off every week day near my house. A third kind is the bus that stops at the local Asian shopping center that picks up people to trips, often to casinos. My dad takes […] Continue »
The Story of a Brief Marriage by Anuk Arudpragasam is a moving and intimate portrait of a man caught up in Sri Lanka’s civil war. Set in and around a refugee camp, this debut novel offers a peek into just a few short days of Dinesh’s life. Arudpragasm delves deep into this one man’s thought process, drawing it out in eloquent and elegant prose. Moments that take but a few seconds traverse multiple pages, yet the book does not feel […] Continue »
Jade Chang’s novel The Wangs vs. The World follows one crazy Chinese American family as they try to piece their lives back together after the economic recession of 2008. Mr. Charles Wang is a self-made man who immigrated from Taiwan and made a fortune with his beauty product empire. But a series of bad choices leaves him completely emptied out (house and cars included). His family, including his second wife and three (almost all) adult children […] Continue »
Aubergine, a new play written by Julia Cho, opens today at Playwrights Horizons in New York City. Running through October 2, it’s an emotional story about family, death, and food. Ray’s father is home on hospice with his son Ray, a first-generation Korean American chef, who is struggling with how to manage and how to cope. To notify his father’s brother, he calls on his ex-girlfriend Cornelia to tell him in Korean. When his uncle unexpectedly shows up with a soup recipe, […] Continue »
It has been a good summer for fun-loving, ass-kicking Asian American superheroines, and if you’re not already, get on board for C.B. Lee’s Not Your Sidekick. Its biggest flaw? Being the first in the series, leaving us on the edge waiting to find out what happens to Jessica Tran (I did not realize I was getting myself into a cliffhanger until I was off the cliff and there were no pages left). Jessica is the daughter of mid-class […] Continue »
Conflict with a child can be painful to deal with for any parent – for an Asian American parent, when the conflict stems around one’s ethnic Asian background, it can be extra painful. If that child’s life is cut short by a drunk driver before that conflict is resolved, the pain must be unimaginable. Paul Li was put into that situation. But instead of retreating from the world, he did two things to try to […] Continue »
Green Card: A New Musical takes on immigrant artists and the American dream in a new musical from young director Dimo Kim. Playing at Theatre at St. Clement’s until August 26, it focuses on the story of Han, an actor and a South Korean immigrant living in Harlem with an expired visa who, as a result, can’t find work. And because he can’t find work, he can’t get an artists visa. Hijinks ensue. Han finds […] Continue »
Padma Lakshmi’s memoir, Love, Loss, and What We Ate is an intimate look at family, growing, grief, and eating through life’s ups and downs. Best known for her role as host on Top Chef, Lakshmi takes us from childhood to the present in vivid detail with humor, honesty, and self-reflection. She is fully willing to unveil her flaws, capitalizing on the gift of hindsight. Lakshmi ably guides us through her triumphs and travails. She is unafraid to talk […] Continue »
In the local Silicon Valley newspaper, The San Jose Mercury News recently did an interview with Priscilla Chan. She’s most well known for being the wife of founder & CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg and she rarely gives interviews. In this particular interview, Chan talks about how her personal story and background has helped shaped the her and Zuckerberg’s donations to schools and hospitals. I was kind of surprised to learn about Chan’s background, and just assumed she […] Continue »
While Memorial Day in the US usually brings up thoughts of summer and barbecue, dead Asian American and Pacific Islander veterans usually don’t come to mind. This StoryCorp animation of a father’s remembrance of his dead son reminded me of what the holiday is supposed to commemorate. Allen Hoe, a Vietnam War veteran himself, tells the story of his trip to Washington to honor his son’s memory and the surprise encounter he made while there. […] Continue »
Lynne Kutsukake’s novel The Translation of Love is an emotional and engaging journey through post-war Japan as seen by its wide cast of characters. It is a unique picture of what happens after war–the consequences of war, the struggles to recover, the aftermath of families torn asunder by loss. Though perhaps most closely following a young girl’s search for her older sister, it includes also the stories of a young Japanese Canadian re-pat, Japanese Americans […] Continue »
Philip Sieve: Yeah. We're just curious. We could also ask this of even some Russians, some black people, some American Indians, old white people with dropping skin... – Do Asians Have Peripheral Vision?
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?