Standard deviations: growing up and coming down in the new Asia

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Villard Books, Jul 1, 2002 - Biography & Autobiography - 250 pages
3 Reviews
A sizzling combination of journalism and memoir tracking a new lost generation's peregrinations around Asia in the 1980s and 1990s.In the late 1980s, not long out of college, Karl Taro Greenfeld found himself stranded in New York, a failed writer before his career had even begun. His Jewish-American father had angrily cut off support; his Japanese mother suggested he go to Japan to teach English. He did, accepting a job with no more promise than any he'd had before. But he stayed in Asia for the next several years, working his way through a series of posts, watching a culture erupt before his eyes, and facing his own demons. Standard Deviations recounts Greenfeld's experiences -- both professional and personal -- during Asia's wild ride at the end of the twentieth century, through a series of vividly imagined stories that range from the rigidly journalistic to the deeply intimate. Whether drinking Japanese cough syrup to get high with other Western expatriates or visiting a free-sex ashram in Bombay or watching a former high school pal self-destruct as an equity analyst in Jakarta, Greenfeld evokes a continent in flux at the end of an explosive "bubble" economy, and a man confronting his own identity and aspirations.Raunchy, insightful, eloquent, and moving, Standard Deviations is an uncompromising work of cultural observation and self-exploration.

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Review: Standard Deviations: Growing Up and Coming Down in the New Asia

User Review  - Catalina - Goodreads

One may think this book is stereotypical...when you think about the exotic life of Asia it come to mind: drugs, prostitution, criminality, striking differences between the unbelievable poverty of the ... Read full review

Review: Standard Deviations: Growing Up and Coming Down in the New Asia

User Review  - Jonathanstray Stray - Goodreads

Absolutely pegs certain moments and scenes in backpacker asia, 1990s and early 2000s. Read full review

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About the author (2002)

Karl Taro Greenfeld is the editor of Time Asia and author of Speed Tribes: Days and Nights with Japan’s Next Generation. A former correspondent for The Nation and writer for Time, he has also contributed articles to GQ, Outside, Vogue, Condé Nast Traveler, The New York Times Magazine and other publications. He lives in Hong Kong with his wife and two daughters.

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