Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee: Observations on Not Fitting In

Author: Paisley Rekdal

First line: Age sixteen, my mother loads up red tubs of noodles, teacups chipped and white-gray as teeth, rice clumps that glue themselves to the plastic tub sides or dissolve and turn papery in the weak tea sloshing around the bottom.

Why you should read this book: The only child of a Chinese-American mother and a Norweigian-American father, the poet Paisley Rekdal spends her youth trying to come to terms with the meaning of self, culture, and otherness as a biracial person. In towns across America, Japan, Korea, China, and the Phillipines, she struggles to find her place against the backdrop of racial stereotypes and social conventions, forging, finally, a new understanding of herself, not as half-white and half-Chinese, but as a whole person, comprised of equal parts family, culture, and individuality.

Why you shouldn't read this book: You are so very colorblind that you cannot accept that any person's experience is influenced by ethnicity.

No comments: