Growing up, Alexander Larson had a need for speed. Make that Speed — the 1994 action film. It was the cars that drew him to the film (a subject he’s still passionate about as he pursues his degree in Mechanical Engineering as a senior at Colorado State University) but it was also something else. It starred someone who looked like him. Keanu Reeves is one of the best known Hollywood actors who happens to be part Asian, significant when only one out of 20 speaking roles goes to Asians and only one percent land leading roles. Alexander writes about these memories and more in his essay here. Continue reading “Let’s Talk Story: A Need for Speed” →
Delivered in three outrageously funny monologues, Sandra Tsing Loh’s “Aliens in America” makes the alien feel familiar. Image courtesy: Amazon
One audio story told in three monologues, Sandra Tsing Loh’s “Aliens in America” pulls into focus a childhood with her Chinese father and German mother in Southern California.
“I guess a man looks better in a Buick than he ought,” Loh recalls of the fateful day when her parents first met. “Especially when it’s surrounded by Southern California in the ’50s, a palm-fringed, swimming pool-dotted utopia lit by a sun so bright you actually start to hallucinate.”
Thus starts a relationship between a German woman who survived WWII bombings and a Chinese man who’d been orphaned in Shanghai. Having survived tough circumstances and given them up for cheerier ones in the U.S. is where their similarities end. Their odd union eventually leads to two daughters, including Loh and her sister Kaitlin, and innumerable family clashes. Continue reading “Aliens in America by Sandra Tsing Loh” →
Patricia Park’s debut novel “Re Jane” recounts the post-grad life of its title heroine as she balances her Korean and American identities. | Image courtesy: Navdheep Singh Dhillon, who happens to have a really great list of recent novels by people of color.
For Jane Re, it ain’t easy being 20-something. Fresh out of college, the job market sucks and she’s peppered with criticism at home by the uncle who’s raised her in Queens. What’s a girl to do?
Get the heck out of Flushing, for starters, then find a job as a nanny, inappropriately fall for her employer, recognize the inappropriateness of it all, run far, far away, and work through something of an identity crisis.
Patricia Park’s debut novel “Re Jane” takes the reader on a relatable journey, and not just because it takes inspiration from “Jane Eyre.” While the arc of her coming of age feels familiar, Jane is different. Continue reading “Re Jane by Patricia Park” →