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1 Beaverton Ethnic Studies- Asian American

This title in other editions

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

by

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

 

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.

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.

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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
$3.50 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.

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