The accidental Asian: notes of a native speaker

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Vintage Books, 1999 - Biography & Autobiography - 206 pages
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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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User Review  - autumnesf - LibraryThing

This book is written by a ABC (American Born Chinese). It was a good book to read to give me a glimpse of what it is like to not be mainstream white in our society even when you consider yourself 100 ... Read full review

The accidental Asian: notes of a native speaker

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Part memoir, part treatise, this slim book will sound familiar at first to any Chinese: being called banana, nerd, yellow, slant-eyed, buck-toothed. And Liu describes typical clashes between Chinese ... Read full review

Contents

Song for My Father
3
Notes of a Native Speaker
33
The Chinatown Idea
85
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

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.