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

Front Cover
Pantheon Books, 2000 - Biography & Autobiography - 211 pages
"Witty, original, and authentic. A fresh,
young Chinese-American voice."
--Adeline Yen Mah,
author of "Falling Leaves"
As the daughter of a Chinese-American mother and a Norwegian father, Paisley Rekdal grew up wondering where she fit in. The essays in this, her shimmering nonfiction debut, tackle thorny issues--race and identity politics, interracial desire, what it means to be a "hyphenated American"--with a fresh, feisty, and very funny new perspective.
Rekdal's family history is, as she describes it, "complicated and vaguely dangerous," and at the center of this strange world is her mother--a smart, stubborn, complex woman who adores her daughter. Rekdal exposes the foibles of family, friends, and lovers, but never spares herself, capturing both global and personal struggles with a critical, compassionate and humorous lens. The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee flows effortlessly from stunning cultural observation to a recollection of an embarrassing travel anecdote. Her destinations vary widely--a classroom in South Korea, a Japanese family's living room, Main Street in Natchez, Mississippi, a Taipei shopping mall, a beach in the Philippines, and even her own bedroom. In each, she explores the vast differences between cultures, the feeling of being an outsider, the constant battle to understand and be understood.
The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee proves that shifting the frames of identity can be tricky, exhilarating--and revelatory.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

THE NIGHT MY MOTHER MET BRUCE LEE: Observations on Not Fitting In

User Review  - Kirkus

A series of travelogues and memoirs linked by the subjects of race and identity.In 11 pieces ranging in length from mere paragraphs to several pages, Rekdal writes with candor and poetic deftness ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - andersonden - LibraryThing

The subtitle is exactly appropriate to the content. The author is "mixed" - her father is Scadanavian and her mother Chinese - and these are vignettes and short stories exploring some of the different ... Read full review


The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee
We Do Not Live Here We Are Only Visitors
Americans Abroad

8 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2000)

Paisley Rekdal teaches at the University of Wyoming & is the author of "The Night My Mother Met Bruce Lee.

Bibliographic information