NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE AWARD FINALIST
In this landmark addition to the literature of totalitarianism, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il (the father of Kim Jong-un), and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population.
Demick brings to life what it means to be living under the most repressive regime today—an Orwellian world that is by choice not connected to the Internet, where displays of affection are punished, informants are rewarded, and an offhand remark can send a person to the gulag for life. She takes us deep inside the country, beyond the reach of government censors, and through meticulous and sensitive reporting we see her subjects fall in love, raise families, nurture ambitions, and struggle for survival. One by one, we witness their profound, life-altering disillusionment with the government and their realization that, rather than providing them with lives of abundance, their country has betrayed them.
Praise for Nothing to Envy
“Provocative . . . offers extensive evidence of the author’s deep knowledge of this country while keeping its sights firmly on individual stories and human details.”—The New York Times
“Deeply moving . . . The personal stories are related with novelistic detail.”—The Wall Street Journal
“A tour de force of meticulous reporting.”—The New York Review of Books
“Excellent . . . humanizes a downtrodden, long-suffering people whose individual lives, hopes and dreams are so little known abroad.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“The narrow boundaries of our knowledge have expanded radically with the publication of Nothing to Envy. . . . Elegantly structured and written, [it] is a groundbreaking work of literary nonfiction.”—John Delury, Slate
“At times a page-turner, at others an intimate study in totalitarian psychology.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer
At once provocative and laugh-out-loud funny, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother ignited a global parenting debate with its story of one mother’s journey in strict parenting. Amy Chua argues that Western parenting tries to respect and nurture children’s individuality, while Chinese parents typically believe that arming children with skills, strong work habits, and inner confidence prepares them best for the future. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother chronicles Chua’s iron-willed decision to raise her daughters, Sophia and Lulu, the Chinese way – and the remarkable, sometimes heartbreaking results her choice inspires. Achingly honest and profoundly challenging, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is one of the most talked-about books of our times.
“Few have the guts to parent in public. Amy [Chua]'s memoir is brutally honest, and her willingness to share her struggles is a gift. Whether or not you agree with her priorities and approach, she should be applauded for raising these issues with a thoughtful, humorous and authentic voice.” –Time Magazine
“[A] riveting read… Chua's story is far more complicated and interesting than what you've heard to date -- and well worth picking up… I guarantee that if you read the book, there'll undoubtedly be places where you'll cringe in recognition, and others where you'll tear up in empathy.” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother hit the parenting hot button, but also a lot more, including people's complicated feelings about ambition, intellectualism, high culture, the Ivy League, strong women and America's standing in a world where China is ascendant. Chua's conviction that hard work leads to inner confidence is a resonant one.” –Chicago Tribune
“Readers will alternately gasp at and empathize with Chua's struggles and aspirations, all the while enjoying her writing, which, like her kid-rearing philosophy, is brisk, lively and no-holds-barred. This memoir raises intriguing, sometimes uncomfortable questions about love, pride, ambition, achievement and self-worth that will resonate among success-obsessed parents… Readers of all stripes will respond to [Battle Hymn of the] Tiger Mother.” –The Washington Post
Replaced by ISBN 9780295993539
From the building of the transcontinental railroad to the celebrity of Jeremy Lin, people of Asian descent have been involved in and affected by the history of America. A New History of Asian America gives twenty-first-century students a clear, comprehensive, and contemporary introduction to this vital history.
A 2006 report commissioned by Brown University revealed that institution's complex and contested involvement in slavery--setting off a controversy that leapt from the ivory tower to make headlines across the country. But Brown's troubling past was far from unique. In Ebony and Ivy, Craig Steven Wilder, a rising star in the profession of history, lays bare uncomfortable truths about race, slavery, and the American academy.
Many of America's revered colleges and universities--from Harvard, Yale, and Princeton to Rutgers, Williams College, and UNC--were soaked in the sweat, the tears, and sometimes the blood of people of color. Slavery funded colleges, built campuses, and paid the wages of professors. Enslaved Americans waited on faculty and students; academic leaders aggressively courted the support of slave owners and slave traders. Significantly, as Wilder shows, our leading universities, dependent on human bondage, became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained them.
Ebony and Ivy is a powerful and propulsive study and the first of its kind, revealing a history of oppression behind the institutions usually considered the cradle of liberal politics.
This groundbreaking book is about the transformation of Asian Americans from a few small, disconnected, and largely invisible ethnic groups into a self-identified racial group that is influencing every aspect of American society. It explores the junctures that shocked Asian Americans into motion and shaped a new consciousness, including the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, by two white autoworkers who believed he was Japanese; the apartheid-like working conditions of Filipinos in the Alaska canneries; the boycott of Korean American greengrocers in Brooklyn; the Los Angeles riots; and the casting of non-Asians in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon. The book also examines the rampant stereotypes of Asian Americans.
Helen Zia, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, was born in the 1950s when there were only 150,000 Chinese Americans in the entire country, and she writes as a personal witness to the dramatic changes involving Asian Americans.
Written for both Asian Americans -- the fastest-growing population in the United States -- and non-Asians, Asian American Dreams argues that America can no longer afford to ignore these emergent, vital, and singular American people.
Readers of this book will gain a clear understanding of what makes the Japanese, and their society, tick. Among the topics explored: aimai (ambiguity), amae (dependence upon others' benevolence), amakudari (the nation's descent from heaven), chinmoku (silence in communication), gambari (perseverance), giri (social obligation), haragei (literally, "belly art"; implicit, unspoken communication), kenkyo (the appearance of modesty), sempai-kohai (seniority), wabi-sabi (simplicity and elegance), and zoto (gift giving), as well as discussions of child-rearing, personal space, and the roles of women in Japanese society. It includes discussion topics and questions after each chapter.
All in all, this book is an easy-to-use introduction to the distinguishing characteristics of Japanese society; an invaluable resource for anyone—business people, travelers, or students—perfect for course adoption, but also for anyone interested in Japanese culture.
Next in this series:
Now available separately, Japanese Culture: The Religious and Philosophical Foundations is a fascinating journey through Japan's rich cultural history.
Koreans have a unique character and personality that sets them apart from all other Asians. And although Korean attitudes and behavior may be influenced by the modern world, the Korean mindset is still very much shaped by ancient culture and traditions. As is the case with all ancient cultures created within highly refined and meticulously structured social systems over thousands of years, one of the keys to understanding traditional Korean attitudes and behavior is the language of the people—or more precisely, key words in the language. These key words provide access to the Korean mind—to core concepts and emotions, the attitudes and feelings that make up the Korean psyche. These key terms reveal both the heart and soul of Koreans and provide bridges for communicating and interacting with Koreans on the most fundamental level.
In The Korean Mind, Boye Lafayette De Mente explores the meanings and cultural context of the most important "code words" of the Korean language, terms whose significance goes well beyond their literal definitions, providing an insight into Korean culture and the personality of the Korean people.
Keywords include:Aboji, Ah-boh-jee — The "Father Culture"Anae, Ah-negh — Wives: The Inside PeopleHan Yak, Hahn Yahk — The Herbal Way to HealthInnae, Een-nay — A Culture of EnduringKatun Sosuy Pap, Kaht-unn Soh-suut Pahp — Eating from the Same Rice BowlAnd over 200 more…
Japan�s no-surrender policy did not permit becoming a POW. Sakamaki and his fellow soldiers and sailors had been indoctrinated to choose between victory and a heroic death. While his comrades had perished, he had survived. By becoming a prisoner of war, Sakamaki believed he had brought shame and dishonor on himself, his family, his community, and his nation, in effect relinquishing his citizenship. Sakamaki fell into despair and, like so many Japanese POWs, begged his captors to kill him.
Based on the author�s interviews with dozens of former Japanese POWs along with memoirs only recently coming to light, The Anguish of Surrender tells one of the great unknown stories of World War II. Beginning with an examination of Japan�s prewar ultranationalist climate and the harsh code that precluded the possibility of capture, the author investigates the circumstances of surrender and capture of men like Sakamaki and their experiences in POW camps.
Many POWs, ill and starving after days wandering in the jungles or hiding out in caves, were astonished at the superior quality of food and medical treatment they received. Contrary to expectations, most Japanese POWs, psychologically unprepared to deal with interrogations, provided information to their captors. Trained Allied linguists, especially Japanese Americans, learned how to extract intelligence by treating the POWs humanely. Allied intelligence personnel took advantage of lax Japanese security precautions to gain extensive information from captured documents. A few POWs, recognizing Japan�s certain defeat, even assisted the Allied war effort to shorten the war. Far larger numbers staged uprisings in an effort to commit suicide. Most sought to survive, suffered mental anguish, and feared what awaited them in their homeland.
These deeply human stories follow Japanese prisoners through their camp experiences to their return to their welcoming families and reintegration into postwar society. These stories are told here for the first time in English.
This groundbreaking graphic anthology brings together leading Asian American creators in the comics industry—including Gene Yang (National Book Award finalist for American Born Chinese), Bernard Chang (Wonder Woman), Greg Pak (The Hulk), and Christine Norrie (Black Canary Wedding Special )—to craft original graphical short stories set in a compelling “shadow history” of our country: from the building of the railroads to the Japanese American internment, the Vietnam airlift, the murder of Vincent Chin, and the incarceration of Dr. Wen Ho Lee.
Entertaining and enlightening, Secret Identities offers whiz-bang action, searing satire, and thoughtful commentary from a community too often overlooked by the cultural mainstream, while showcasing a vivid cross-section of the talents whose imagination and creativity is driving the contemporary comics renaissance.
Jessica Hagedorn is a performance artist, poet, novelist and playwright, born and raised in the Philippines. Her novels include Dogeaters (Penguin 1990) which was nominated for a National Book Award and The Gangster of Love (Penguin 1996); a short story collection, Danger and Beauty (City Lights 2002).
Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng - A 15-minute Summary & Analysis
Inside this Instaread:
• Summary of entire book
• Introduction to the Important People in the book
• Analysis of the Themes and Author’s Style
Preview of this Instaread:
The repressed bitterness, anger and disappointment simmering for years inside the Lee family finally erupt in Everything I Never Told You after daughter Lydia, her parents’ favorite, disappears on May 3, 1977. It is a fine spring day in northern Ohio, where the family lives in Middlewood, a town an hour outside Toledo.
James and Marilyn Lee first look for their daughter among her friends, but they discover that Lydia has been maintaining an elaborate charade for their benefit, even conducting long phone conversations with no one on the other end. She has no friends. Two days later, an empty rowboat on the nearby lake leads police to Lydia’s drowned body. Her puzzled parents believed she hated the water and would never take a boat out on it.Years before, Marilyn attended Radcliffe where she had to fight stereotypes to enroll in pre-med classes. Her almost all-male teachers and classmates…
Explore how generational and cultural differences can divide—and then unite—immigrant mothers and their American-born daughters as you study CliffsNotes on The Joy Luck Club.
This novel describes the lives of four women, who fled China in the 1940s, and their contentious relationships with their four very Americanized daughters. Through the love of their mothers, each of these young women learns about her heritage and so is able to deal more effectively with her life.
CliffsNotes provides detailed plot summaries, critical commentaries, and a helpful character list to help you uncover all the insight this novel has to offer. Make studying easier with CliffsNotes on The Joy Luck Club. Other features includeCritical essaysA review section that tests your knowledgeBackground on the author, including career highlights
Classic literature or modern-day treasure—you'll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.
Decades before their daughter surprised the nation by becoming governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley's parents had a dream. Ajit and Raj Randhawa were well-educated, well-off Sikhs in the Punjab region of India. But despite their high social status, the Randhawas wanted more for their family-the opportunities that only America could offer.
So they left behind all they had known and settled in Bamberg, South Carolina (population: 2,500). As the first Indian family in a small Southern town in the early 1970s, the Randhawas faced ignorance, prejudice, and sometimes blatant hostility. Nikki remembers stopping at a roadside produce stand with her father, who always wore his traditional Sikh turban. Within minutes, two police cars pulled to make sure they weren't thieves.
But the Randhawas taught their children that they should never think of themselves as victims. They stressed that if you work hard and stay true to yourself, you can overcome any obstacle. The key is believing that can't is not an option.
The family struggled to make ends meet while starting a clothing business in their living room, eventually growing it into a multimillion- dollar success. At age twelve, Nikki started to do the bookkeeping and taxes after school. After graduating from college and entering the business world, she watched business owners like her parents battle government bureaucracy and overregulation.
Her frustration inspired her to get into politics and run for the state legislature. That first campaign, against an entrenched incumbent, led to racial and religious slurs and threats-but Haley, like her parents, refused to back down. She won on a promise to fight for reform, lean budgets, and government accountability, which is exactly what she did-much to the dismay of South Carolina's old guard politicians.
Soon she had a reputation as a conservative leader who could get things done. In the same state where her family was once ridiculed, she inspired a diverse grassroots following. In November 2010 she was elected South Carolina's first female governor and first nonwhite governor, and only the second Indian American governor in the country.
Haley's story, as told firsthand in this inspiring memoir, is a testament to the power of determination, faith, and family. And it's proof that the American Dream is still strong and true in the twenty- first century.
Springing from the author's personal experiences in China, Chinglish follows a Midwestern American businessman desperately seeking to score a lucrative contact for his family's firm as he travels to China, only to discover how much he doesn't understand. Named for the unique and often comical third language that evolves from attempts to translate Chinese signs into English, Chinglish explores the challenges of doing business in a country whose language—and underlying cultural assumptions—are worlds apart from our own. David Henry Hwang's "best new work since M. Butterfly, this shrewd, timely and razor-sharp comedy" (Chicago Tribune) received its Broadway premiere in fall 2011, and a film adaptation is currently in development.
David Henry Hwang is the author of the Tony Award-winning M. Butterfly, Yellow Face (OBIE Award, 2008 Pulitzer Prize finalist), Golden Child (1997 OBIE Award), FOB (1981 OBIE Award), Family Devotions (Drama Desk nomination), and the books for musicals Aida ( co-author), Flower Drum Song (2002 Broadway revival), and Tarzan, among other works. David Henry Hwang graduated from Stanford University, attended the Yale School of Drama, and holds honorary degrees from Columbia College in Chicago and The American Conservatory Theatre. He lives in New York City with his wife, actress Kathryn Layng, and their children, Noah David and Eva Veanne.
Engineered by a politically disenfranchised, numerically small, and economically exploited group, Chinese food's tour de America is an epic story of global cultural encounter. It reflects not only changes in taste but also a growing appetite for a more leisurely lifestyle. Americans fell in love with Chinese food not because of its gastronomic excellence but because of its affordability and convenience, which is why they preferred the quick and simple dishes of China while shunning its haute cuisine. Epitomized by chop suey, American Chinese food was a forerunner of McDonald's, democratizing the once-exclusive dining-out experience for such groups as marginalized Anglos, African Americans, and Jews.
The rise of Chinese food is also a classic American story of immigrant entrepreneurship and perseverance. Barred from many occupations, Chinese Americans successfully turned Chinese food from a despised cuisine into a dominant force in the restaurant market, creating a critical lifeline for their community. Chinese American restaurant workers developed the concept of the open kitchen and popularized the practice of home delivery. They streamlined certain Chinese dishes, such as chop suey and egg foo young, turning them into nationally recognized brand names.
From Jou Yee Xiong's Life Story:
"I stopped teaching my sons many of the Hmong ways because I felt my ancestors and I had suffered enough already. I thought that teaching my children the old ways would only place a burden on them."
From Ka Pao Xiong's (Jou Yee Xiong's son) Life Story:
"It has been very difficult for us to adapt because we had no professions or trades and we suffered from culture shock. Here in America, both the husband and wife must work simultaneously to earn enough money to live on. Many of our children are ignorant of the Hmong way of life.... Even the old people are forgetting about their life in Laos, as they enjoy the prosperity and good life in America."
From Xang Mao Xiong's Life Story:
"When the Communists took over Laos and General Vang Pao fled with his family, we, too, decided to leave. Not only my family, but thousands of Hmong tried to flee. I rented a car for thirty thousand Laotian dollars, and it took us to Nasu.... We felt compelled to leave because many of us had been connected to the CIA.... Thousands of Hmong were traveling on foot. Along the way, many of them were shot and killed by Communist soldiers. We witnessed a bloody massacre of civilians."
From Vue Vang's Life Story:
"Life was so hard in the [Thai refugee] camp that when we found out we could go to the United States, we did not hesitate to grasp the chance. We knew that were we to remain in the camp, there would be no hope for a better future. We would not be able to offer our children anything better than a life of perpetual poverty and anguish."
The Transformation of Plantation Politics explores the effects of black political exclusion, the sharecropping system, and white resistance on the Mississippi Delta’s current economic and political situation. Sharon D. Wright Austin’s extensive interviews with residents of the region shed light on the transformations and legacies of the Delta’s political and economic institutions. While African Americans now hold most of the major political offices in the region and are no longer formally excluded from political participation, educational opportunities, or lucrative jobs, Wright Austin shows that white wealth and black poverty continue to be the norm partly because of the deeply entrenched legacies of the Delta’s history. Contributing to a greater theoretical understanding of black political efforts, this book demonstrates a need for a strong level of black social capital, intergroup capital, financial capital, political capital, and a human capital of educated and skilled workers.
The Polynesian Family System in Ka-'U, Hawai'i is a collaboration of the distinguished scholars Dr. Mary Puku and Dr. E.S. Craighill Handy. It provides us with this fascinating review of traditional Hawaiian life. Manners and customs relating to birth, death, marriage, sexual practices, religious beliefs, and family relationship are all clearly described. The main sources of information were elderly Hawaiian informants of then remote Kacu district of the island of Hawaii.
This Hawaiian history and culture book provides professional scholars and laymen a like with an unrivaled picture of traditional Hawaiian society. Based on original work in the field with living Hawaiians, it combines research into the literature by two authors of unusual qualifications with field work conducted under unique circumstances. This edition will be welcomed by librarians, anthropologists, and indeed all who have a serious interest in Polynesian life.
A “searingly honest self-exploration”* of the experience and psyche of the Asian American male, including Tizon’s stunning final article, “My Family’s Slave”
Shame, Alex Tizon tells us, is universal—his own happened to be about race. To counteract the steady diet of American television and movies that taught Tizon to be ashamed of his face, his skin color, his height, he turned outward. (“I had to educate myself on my own worth. It was a sloppy, piecemeal education, but I had to do it because no one else was going to do it for me.”) Tizon illuminates his youthful search for Asian men who had no place in his American history books or classrooms. And he tracks what he experienced as seismic change: the rise of powerful, dynamic Asian men like Yahoo! cofounder Jerry Yang, actor Ken Watanabe, and NBA starter Jeremy Lin.
Included in this new edition of Big Little Man is Alex Tizon’s “My Family’s Slave”—2017’s best-read digital article. Published only weeks after Tizon’s death in 2017, it delivers a provocative, haunting, and ultimately redemptive coda.
* New York Times
“Alex Tizon writes with acumen and courage, and the result is a book at once illuminating and, yes, liberating.” — Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes
New York City, long the destination for immigrants and migrants, today is home to the largest Indian American population in the United States. Coming of age in a city remarkable for its diversity and cultural innovation, Indian American and other South Asian youth draw on their ethnic traditions and the city's resources to create a vibrant subculture. Some of the city's hottest clubs host regular bhangra parties, weekly events where young South Asians congregate to dance to music that mixes rap beats with Hindi film music, bhangra (North Indian and Pakistani in origin), reggae, techno, and other popular styles. Many of these young people also are active in community and campus organizations that stage performances of "ethnic cultures."
In this book Sunaina Maira explores the world of second-generation Indian American youth to learn how they manage the contradictions of gender roles and sexuality, how they handle their "model minority" status and expectations for class mobility in a society that still racializes everyone in terms of black or white. Maira's deft analysis illuminates the ways in which these young people bridge ethnic authenticity and American "cool."
The brutal and systematic “ethnic cleansing” of Chinese Americans in California and the Pacific Northwest in the second half of the nineteenth century is a shocking–and virtually unexplored–chapter of American history. Driven Out unearths this forgotten episode in our nation’s past. Drawing on years of groundbreaking research, Jean Pfaelzer reveals how, beginning in 1848, lawless citizens and duplicitous politicians purged dozens of communities of thousands of Chinese residents–and how the victims bravely fought back.
In town after town, as races and classes were pitted against one another in the raw and anarchistic West, Chinese miners and merchants, lumberjacks and field workers, prostitutes and merchants’ wives, were gathered up at gunpoint and marched out of town, sometimes thrown into railroad cars along the very tracks they had built.
Here, in vivid detail, are unforgettable incidents such as the torching of the Chinatown in Antioch, California, after Chinese prostitutes were accused of giving seven young men syphilis, and a series of lynchings in Los Angeles bizarrely provoked by a Chinese wedding. From the port of Seattle to the mining towns in California’s Siskiyou Mountains to “Nigger Alley” in Los Angeles, the first Chinese Americans were hanged, purged, and banished. Chinatowns across the West were burned to the ground.
But the Chinese fought back: They filed the first lawsuits for reparations in the United States, sued for the restoration of their property, prosecuted white vigilantes, demanded the right to own land, and, years before Brown v. Board of Education, won access to public education for their children. Chinese Americans organized strikes and vegetable boycotts in order to starve out towns that tried to expel them. They ordered arms from China and, with Winchester rifles and Colt revolvers, defended themselves. In 1893, more than 100,000 Chinese Americans refused the government’s order to wear photo identity cards to prove their legal status–the largest mass civil disobedience in United States history to that point.
Driven Out features riveting characters, both heroic and villainous, white and Asian. Charles McGlashen, a newspaper editor, spearheaded a shift in the tactics of persecution, from brutality to legal boycotts of the Chinese, in order to mount a run for governor of California. Fred Bee, a creator of the Pony Express, became the Chinese consul and one of the few attorneys willing to defend the Chinese. Lum May, a dry goods store owner, saw his wife dragged from their home and driven insane. President Grover Cleveland, hoping that China’s 400,000 subjects would buy the United States out of its economic crisis, persuaded China to abandon the overseas Chinese in return for a trade treaty. Quen Hing Tong, a merchant, sought an injunction against the city of San Jose in an important precursor to today’s suits against racial profiling and police brutality.
In Driven Out, Jean Pfaelzer sheds a harsh light on America’s past. This is a story of hitherto unknown racial pogroms, purges, roundups, and brutal terror, but also a record of valiant resistance and community. This deeply resonant and eye-opening work documents a significant and disturbing episode in American history.
This Generation gathers his essays and blogs dating from 2006 to the present, telling the story of modern China through Han Han’s unique perspective. Writing on topics as diverse as racing, relationships, the Beijing Olympics, and how to be a patriot, he offers a brief, funny, and illuminating trip through a complex nation that most Westerners view as marching in lockstep. As much a millennial time capsule as an entertaining and invaluable way for English readers to understand our rising Eastern partner and rival, This Generation introduces a dazzling talent to American shores.
Keefe reveals the inner workings of Sister Ping’s complex empire and recounts the decade-long FBI investigation that eventually brought her down. He follows an often incompetent and sometimes corrupt INS as it pursues desperate immigrants risking everything to come to America, and along the way, he paints a stunning portrait of a generation of illegal immigrants and the intricate underground economy that sustains and exploits them. Grand in scope yet propulsive in narrative force, The Snakehead is both a kaleidoscopic crime story and a brilliant exploration of the ironies of immigration in America.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
Replaces ISBN 9780295961903
No-No Boy tells the story of Ichiro Yamada, a fictional version of the real-life �no-no boys.� Yamada answered �no� twice in a compulsory government questionnaire as to whether he would serve in the armed forces and swear loyalty to the United States. Unwilling to pledge himself to the country that interned him and his family, Ichiro earns two years in prison and the hostility of his family and community when he returns home to Seattle. As Ozeki writes, Ichiro�s �obsessive, tormented� voice subverts Japanese postwar �model-minority� stereotypes, showing a fractured community and one man�s �threnody of guilt, rage, and blame as he tries to negotiate his reentry into a shattered world.�
The first edition of No-No Boy since 1979 presents this important work to new generations of readers.
Replaces ISBN 9780295955254
Amid immigrant narratives of assimilation, Indian Accents focuses on the representations and stereotypes of South Asian characters in American film and television. Exploring key examples in popular culture ranging from Peter Sellers' portrayal of Hrundi Bakshi in the 1968 film The Party to contemporary representations such as Apu from The Simpsons and characters in Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle, Shilpa S. Dave develops the ideas of "accent," "brownface," and "brown voice" as new ways to explore the racialization of South Asians beyond just visual appearance. Dave relates these examples to earlier scholarship on blackface, race, and performance to show how "accents" are a means of representing racial difference, national origin, and belonging, as well as distinctions of class and privilege. While focusing on racial impersonations in mainstream film and television, Indian Accents also amplifies the work of South Asian American actors who push back against brown voice performances, showing how strategic use of accent can expand and challenge such narrow stereotypes.
Interestingly, there’s clearly a trend of Asian women looking for foreign men, not only inside Asia but outside as well. However, when talking about Asians, there’s something we must clarify in advance, related to the fact that Asia is a combination of different countries and cultures, in some cases extremely different from each other. We tend to refer to a majority when mentioning Asian culture, which is typically represented by big countries like China, Japan and Korea. These countries clearly show a preference towards men from The United States, England, France and Spain.
This, easily observed trend, doesn’t concern foreigners in general because there’re misunderstandings about the concept. When Asians mention foreigners, they’re usually referring to North Americans and Europeans. When the topic is specified, regarding South Americans and Africans, we can notice unbalanced answers and confused reactions. Asian women cannot easily imagine a marriage with an African or a South American. These marriages do exist but we can’t call it a trend, as they’re rather a natural result of cultural interactions.
As the world opens more and we can travel to the opposite side of the globe in just a few hours on a shoestring, it’s natural that we may become more acquaint of people from different countries. This exchange between nations leads to mixed couples, for even though we may look different, deep down we’re all the same. When socializing, it’s only normal that sometimes it may end up in love, even when the initial preference and self-image doesn’t allow seeing such outcome. Life simply happens in this way; and, by understanding how it leads people from different cultures to marriage, we can find answers to any related question about this section of our reality.
We believe our world is very distinctive, when in fact can be easily comprehended with an acknowledgment of perspectives and self-awareness, as well as a choice regarding personal observations. Therefore, we may see several happily mixed couples, but they represent an evolution in the world that have existed before, was somehow forgotten in the last centuries and is currently being rediscovered. This is and has always been just a natural part of life.
It was with this principle in mind that the author has shared his insights with Voice of America, in a Radio Interview that reflected the content presented in this book.
In many ways, Chinese Americans today are exemplars of the American Dream: during a crowded century and a half, this community has gone from indentured servitude, second-class status and outright exclusion to economic and social integration and achievement. But this narrative obscures too much: the Chinese Americans still left behind, the erosion of the American Dream in general, the emergence—perhaps—of a Chinese Dream, and how other Americans will look at their countrymen of Chinese descent if China and America ever become adversaries. As Chinese Americans reconcile competing beliefs about what constitutes success, virtue, power, and purpose, they hold a mirror up to their country in a time of deep flux.
In searching, often personal essays that range from the meaning of Confucius to the role of Chinese Americans in shaping how we read the Constitution to why he hates the hyphen in "Chinese-American," Eric Liu pieces together a sense of the Chinese American identity in these auspicious years for both countries. He considers his own public career in American media and government; his daughter's efforts to hold and release aspects of her Chinese inheritance; and the still-recent history that made anyone Chinese in America seem foreign and disloyal until proven otherwise. Provocative, often playful but always thoughtful, Liu breaks down his vast subject into bite-sized chunks, along the way providing insights into universal matters: identity, nationalism, family, and more.