The Fictioning Horror Sale
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Powell's Q&A | September 3, 2014

Emily St. John Mandel: IMG Powell’s Q&A: Emily St. John Mandel



Describe your latest book. My new novel is called Station Eleven. It's about a traveling Shakespearean theatre company in a post-apocalyptic North... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Station Eleven

    Emily St. John Mandel 9780385353304

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$6.95
List price: $14.95
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
2 Burnside Ethnic Studies- Chinese American

The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker (Vintage)

by

The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker (Vintage) Cover

ISBN13: 9780375704864
ISBN10: 0375704868
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $6.95!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

What is race for? That bracing question animates every page of The Accidental Asian, a powerful work from one of the nation's leading young voices. In these personal and poignant reflections on assimilation, Eric Liu articulates a vision of American identity that will provoke and inspire.

For Liu, the price of assimilation became clear when he tried to read a memorial book about his father's life, composed in Chinese, and found himself staring at a blur of indecipherable characters. There in his hands was the measure of his inheritance. Liu, meanwhile, has watched with both wonder and concern as a pan-ethnic Asian American identity has taken shape. Here now is a race that offers a new source of roots — but also tightens the hold that color has upon our minds. Like so many in the second generation, Liu doesn't know whether to embrace, resist, or redefine assimilation — and ends up doing all three at once. He speaks candidly about his journey from a fierce pursuit of racelessness to a slow rapprochement with race. He is not afraid to reveal his ambivalence.

At bottom, Liu is an "accidental Asian" — someone who has stumbled upon a sense of race, who is not always sure what to do with it. Weaving narrative and analysis into a series of elegant essays, Liu addresses a broad range of questions: Is whiteness America's fundamental race problem?; Are Asian Americans really the New Jews?; Should we fear the rising might of China?; What does a journey through Chinatown reveal about our own lives?; What might intermarriage mean for Asian Americans — and for the future of race itself?; The clear voice in these pages will resonate with Americans of every hue. Beyond black and white, conservative and liberal, native and alien, lies a vast and fertile field of human experience. It is this field that Liu, with insight and compassion, invites us to explore.

Review:

"A unique — and uniquely American memoir, suffused with smarts, elegance, and warmth." Time

Review:

"More than a reminiscence of growing up Asian in America, it is an homage to Liu's Chineseness, and to America." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Wonderfully spirited....Remarkable in its adamant refusal to buy into the party line of identity politics...Liu is fair to all sides of any issue he discusses." TheNew York Times Book Review

Review:

"Eris Liu has writtena powerful memoir, a memoir that renders the Asian American experience with a depth and a passion reminiscent of Richar Wright's Black Boy. It is a major contribution to the literature that defines what it means to be an American." Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Synopsis:

Beyond black and white, native and alien, lies a vast and fertile field of human experience. It is here that Eric Liu, former speechwriter for President Clinton and noted political commentator, invites us to explore.

In these compellingly candid essays, Liu reflects on his life as a second-generation Chinese American and reveals the shifting frames of ethnic identity. Finding himself unable to read a Chinese memorial book about his father's life, he looks critically at the cost of his own assimilation. But he casts an equally questioning eye on the effort to sustain vast racial categories like “Asian American.” And as he surveys the rising anxiety about China's influence, Liu illuminates the space that Asians have always occupied in the American imagination. Reminiscent of the work of James Baldwin and its unwavering honesty, The Accidental Asian introduces a powerful and elegant voice into the discussion of what it means to be an American.

About the Author

Eric Liu is a fellow at the New America Foundation and a contributor to Slate and MSNBC. A former speechwriter for President Clinton, he founded The Next Progressive, an acclaimed journal of opinion, and edited the anthology Next: Young American Writers on the New Generation.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

mmkahmadi, May 3, 2014 (view all comments by mmkahmadi)
I am not a fan of the ideology of white regarded as a race, and anything else that subjects a color/class image of the world. It breaks down cultures, science, philosophy. While I do agree with Liu's awareness that the white profile comes with a set of privileges in our society, I also think that his strive of achieving 'whiteness' is essentially, an obsolete idea. For if one were to look at this assimilation from the other side of the Yin-Yang spectrum, they might observe this: a white man trying to showcase himself to fit the black profile would be widely regarded as improper.
We need to ask the preliminary question: How can we classify a group of people as white? Well, when I was little, I was taught that we all belong to one race, and that these race/class ideals were created to alienate groups of people into a position of authority. To distance the whites from those not-so-whites. If we look at the world in this black and white lens, we end up with a lot racial tensions, a lot of division. I strongly disagree with this distorted view. Liu deserts his Asian heritage in the process of "working so duteously to defy stereotype." So basically for Liu, when you define yourself something, you deny yourself another.
Sealed in his 'whiteness', he says that racial identity does not necessarily come from those who have white skin or white ancestors.Sure, we can think of ourselves however we fashion to fit whatever psychological profile we wish. But there is a another dimension that we have to use to solve the problems that tackle us all. The dimension is that we should not be trying to assimilate into a mentality that leaves out another race. Let's find that common ground where men and women of every color are provided equal rights.
Some of the people, who have done the best, most in depth historical work on this racial divide, recognized that during the 15th-16th century, the British were constantly classifying and categorizing as part of a larger project, which is largely knows as 'divide and rule'. This was a way that the British came to know about culture and define culture. In the British example, race was understood as a kind of full-scale separation of whites from other barbaric groups. This use of racial category can only be shifted into a universal system for every race, if all of it's members acknowledge that this concept of a white race brings about racism. There is a long history of ample violence that racism is responsible for. From the range of everyday interactions to the community level, to the state level, to the point of military action, and even to the extent of--brace yourself--genocide: the wholesale murder of a certain type of people. This concept that we're dealing with today, has been alive for 500-600 years. Although this colonialism has ended, this is what we witness in Liu's notes--the effect classifying/categorizing has on the psychological identity.
In Liu's drive to assimilate into 'whiteness', he really captures with his notes, how impossible it is to crossover to a race that he will never be. For all of us to enter into a system that includes people of every color, for all of us to find this common ground, we need to change our thinking from, how can we assimilate to the culture of our society, to how can we contribute to our society. This is precisely the reality that Liu will have to confront in order to serve the greater principle his ancestors spoke of--perfect harmony.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375704864
Author:
Liu, Eric
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Political
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures
Subject:
Race relations
Subject:
Chinese americans
Subject:
Asian americans
Subject:
Culture conflict
Subject:
Ethnic Cultures - General
Subject:
United States Race relations.
Subject:
Biography-Political
Subject:
memoir;non-fiction;biography;race;culture;asian american;identity
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage
Series Volume:
no. 473
Publication Date:
19990931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.00x5.24x.58 in. .52 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Cultural Curiosity: Thirteen Stories... Used Trade Paper $6.95
  2. Locating Filipino Americans:... New Trade Paper $32.75
  3. Thinking Orientals: Migration,... New Trade Paper $52.50
  4. Desis in the House : Indian American... Used Trade Paper $11.95
  5. Nisei Daughter Used Trade Paper $8.95
  6. A Different Mirror: A History of...
    Used Trade Paper $7.50

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Political
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Asian American
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » Chinese American
History and Social Science » Ethnic Studies » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker (Vintage) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375704864 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A unique — and uniquely American memoir, suffused with smarts, elegance, and warmth."
"Review" by , "More than a reminiscence of growing up Asian in America, it is an homage to Liu's Chineseness, and to America."
"Review" by , "Wonderfully spirited....Remarkable in its adamant refusal to buy into the party line of identity politics...Liu is fair to all sides of any issue he discusses."
"Review" by , "Eris Liu has writtena powerful memoir, a memoir that renders the Asian American experience with a depth and a passion reminiscent of Richar Wright's Black Boy. It is a major contribution to the literature that defines what it means to be an American."
"Synopsis" by , Beyond black and white, native and alien, lies a vast and fertile field of human experience. It is here that Eric Liu, former speechwriter for President Clinton and noted political commentator, invites us to explore.

In these compellingly candid essays, Liu reflects on his life as a second-generation Chinese American and reveals the shifting frames of ethnic identity. Finding himself unable to read a Chinese memorial book about his father's life, he looks critically at the cost of his own assimilation. But he casts an equally questioning eye on the effort to sustain vast racial categories like “Asian American.” And as he surveys the rising anxiety about China's influence, Liu illuminates the space that Asians have always occupied in the American imagination. Reminiscent of the work of James Baldwin and its unwavering honesty, The Accidental Asian introduces a powerful and elegant voice into the discussion of what it means to be an American.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.