All posts tagged: Chinese American

Theater Review: The Wong Street Journal

I adore funny women. My list of favorites is endless: Mindy Kaling, Ellie Kemper, Jessica Williams, Margaret Cho, Tina Fey, and so forth and so on. Kristina Wong, the pioneering educator who previously informed us that Asian vaginas cure racism, is one of my favorite comedic performers (I’m interrupting a hardcore Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. marathon to write this piece, if that gives you an impression of how much I admire this woman).

TV Review: Fresh Off The Boat (season 1 finale)

The success of Fresh Off The Boat is personal. I’m not Asian American, but I have two primary points of investment: 1) My husband predicted that the show would be terrible and never be renewed, and I love it when he’s wrong (he’s capitulated on the first statement). 2) It represents people I love. There will probably never be a sitcom about a family that looks like mine. Mixed families are very specific, and television has only ever bothered to showcase an Asian American family twice in as many decades. Maybe my future children can watch sitcoms like The McCarthys and Fresh Off The Boat and see part of themselves represented in each. (Big Hero 6 is going to popular in this house). I love Fresh Off The Boat, not only because I think the adults are hilarious, the children are adorable, and the stories are entertaining, but also because I love watching my husband relate to a family in an American sitcom for the first time in his life. The sound of my husband’s laughter is the best sound in the world to me. It’s worth ten seasons of any show. …

Book Review: Everything I Never Told You

Celeste Ng’s first novel, Everything I Never Told You, opens with the death of Lydia Lee. Her surviving family, who collectively idolized sixteen-year-old Lydia, struggle to make sense of her death in a collection of flashbacks and subsequent narratives. The story draws a sharp line in the sand – before death, and after. The divide works well as a temporal device, keeping the reader oriented, but it works thematically as well, examining the faulty structures of the Lee family as it comes crashing down around them. Despite the dark subject matter, Ng’s prose is light, engaging, encouraging the reader to read on – Ng is the type of author to bring along to the beach and effortlessly lose yourself in for a few hours. The novel is a page-turner, but not in the traditional sense. This is no whodunit mystery. Rather, Lydia’s death is contextualized in the history of the family’s complex relationships. Before marriage, James Lee was a young, Chinese American professor desperate to fit in, his wife-to-be a Caucasian woman eager to stand out as a woman in the male-dominated medical profession. Like so …

Book Review: On Such a Full Sea

Most apocalyptic authors do not posses the creativity or desire to end their novel outside the standard normal tropes: a protagonist who submits to his (and it rather often seems to be “his”) malevolent overlords either through acquiescence or death, or else a plot that simply doesn’t bother with catharsis at all. So I was never a big fan of this genre, and that’s largely Aldous Huxley’s fault. (Random fact: Huxley wrote the original screenplay for Disney’s adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Disney rejected it on the grounds that it was too literary. I feel Walt on that one.) The Host is a great exception. Yep, that’s the one written by Stephanie Meyer, who when she’s not writing about sparkly teenage vampires actually has quite a graphic imagination. If you’re looking for somewhat-lighter adult apocalyptic lit, go read it. If you’re looking for something a bit darker, I’d start with Chang-Rae Lee.