He speaks candidly about his journey from a fierce pursuit of racelessness to a slow rapprochement with race. Some questions have never occurred to me until Liu brought them, like why did my mom keep her Chinese name?
And Liu describes typical clashes between Chinese parents and their Americanized offspring. This is why the book was valuable to me, more valuable than some novels that I enjoyed more. Plot overview and analysis written by an experienced literary critic. He recoils when his features make him an immediate recruiting prospect for an Asian American college club.
He explores the reasons why he married the person he did and what the effects of having biracial children will be on his ability to pass down his Chinese heritage to them. I shared a laugh with my mother over this. Was he really following his personal instincts, or was he merely out to disprove common assumptions?
The buzz of an alien tongue. At bottom, Liu is an "accidental Asian"--someone who has stumbled upon a sense of race, who is not always sure what to do with it.
He also writes that another thing both he and his Jewish friends had in common as children was being forced The accidental asian notes of a attend ethnic schools, which they hated.
Thus, the idea that newcomers to American culture take with themselves older, already outdated pictures of style, fashion, and societal rules and attitudes of the new host country is brought home on a deeply personal yet also somewhat common level.
In The Accidental Asian, Liu writes with a heavy dose of humor and irony as he explores themes of race and identity. He only knows what the book says due to the times his mother has read it to him.
Yet while he may not have mastered a menu in Cantonese, Eric tells of his triumph in eventually mastering the art of Chinese cooking. So long as America continues to be obsessed with the artificial concept of race, even if "Asian-Americans" reject the label, the rest of society will likely stubbornly cling to the idea of a pan-Asia identity.
He struggles with Chinese poetry and worries that he cannot even read a Chinese menu. Here, Eric Liu thoughtfully reflects on his Chinese body, which visually sets him apart from Caucasian Americans.
Although he was raised to assimilate, Liu recalls that his discomfort as an adolescent when trying to fit in was problematical because his hair and skin tone marked him as different from those around him. In particular, Liu offers insightful and original comments about being Asian American, a construct that is totally false but one he has learned to use because of the many positive consequences.
The book reminds me that race and heritage are but a mix of contradictions -- we yearn to embrace our roots, but escape its limitations.
All rights reserved Review by Library Journal Review Part memoir, part treatise, this slim book will sound familiar at first to any Chinese: Weaving narrative and analysis into a series of elegant essays, Liu addresses a broad range of questions: This tendency is reinforced in his reflections on the fact that while his father had a fulfilling career with a blue-chip American company and led a socially integrated life, he nevertheless decided to hide his kidney disease from all Caucasian colleagues and friends.
We never fully know who we are. Published inThe Accidental Asian: To be notified when we launch a full study guide, please contact us. This well-written and poignant book is especially recommended for non-Asian readers.
Almost inevitably, The Accidental Asian turns to three central elements often associated with cultural and racial identity: He describes it as a role he and others must play, where people of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.
There in his hands was the measure of his inheritance.
It is a fundamental exploration of how we form our identities and our connections to our pasts. Liu would do well to acknowledge the aspects of identity that is created by external forces, rather than assuming internal ideological and identity politics rule the day. The clear voice in these pages will resonate with Americans of every hue.SuperSummary, a modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.
This one-page guide includes a plot summary and brief analysis of The Accidental Asian by Eric Liu. Published inThe Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker is an essay collection.
The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker by Eric Liu 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/5(5).
The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker is a collection of memoirs and essays by American writer Eric Liu published in One of his arguments criticizes the unified Asian American movement with uniform interests.
The book was well received by major reviewers. SUMMARY. What is race for? That bracing question animates every page of The Accidental Asian, a powerful work from one of the nation's leading young voices.
The Accidental Asian Notes of a Native Speaker. By ERIC LIU Random House, Inc. Read the Review.
Song for My Father. 1. By my bed, gathering a little dust now, I'm afraid, is a small paperback book. I've kept it there ever since it was published four or five years ago, and it's become one of those things in my apartment that I see every day.
About Eric Liu. ERIC LIU is a fellow at the New America Foundation. He writes the “Teachings” column for Slate and is the author of The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker, a New York Times Notable Book featured in the PBS.Download