I Love Yous Are for White People
  • I Love Yous Are for White People
  • I Love Yous Are for White People

I Love Yous Are for White People

4.3 25
by Lac Su
     
 

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As a young child, Lac Su made a harrowing escape from the Communists in Vietnam. With a price on his father's head, Lac, with his family, was forced to immigrate in 1979 to seedy West Los Angeles where squalid living conditions and a cultural fabric that refused to thread them in effectively squashed their American Dream. Lac's search for love and acceptance amid

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Overview

As a young child, Lac Su made a harrowing escape from the Communists in Vietnam. With a price on his father's head, Lac, with his family, was forced to immigrate in 1979 to seedy West Los Angeles where squalid living conditions and a cultural fabric that refused to thread them in effectively squashed their American Dream. Lac's search for love and acceptance amid poverty—not to mention the psychological turmoil created by a harsh and unrelenting father—turned his young life into a comedy of errors and led him to a dangerous gang experience that threatened to tear his life apart.

Heart-wrenching, irreverent, and ultimately uplifting, I Love Yous Are for White People is memoir at its most affecting, depicting the struggles that countless individuals have faced in their quest to belong and that even more have endured in pursuit of a father's fleeting affection.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Adult/High School—From the frightening exodus his family made from Vietnam in 1984 and through their resettlement and generation-specific acculturation in Southern California, Su offers excellent storytelling with keen psychological insight. While his mother cared for everyone as the family continued to grow, his father strove hard on both their behalf and in frustration at his son's apparent thickheadedness. The careful, almost timid five-year-old grew into a gang-affiliated and alienated teen. Nevertheless, and amid economic and emotional poverty, Su has become successful as a scholar, father, and writer. This memoir is an excellent companion to Le Thi Diem Thuy's novel in short stories, The Gangster We Are All Looking For (Knopf, 2003).—Francisca Goldsmith, Halifax Public Libraries, Nova Scotia
Kirkus Reviews
In his debut, marketing consultant Su recalls growing up Vietnamese in the ghettos of America, and the cultural divide between two generations. The riveting opening sets the stage as the family raced to a rickety boat to escape their homeland, dodging communist gunfire as they ran. The son of war refugees, the author came of age in the poor enclaves of Los Angeles with an emotional burden familiar to children of immigrants. Though he longed to succeed in America so that his parents' sacrifices were "not for nothing," he rebelled against his stifling upbringing. During the course of a dangerous adolescent descent, Su sought companionship with a Vietnamese street gang, neglected school and, for a time, disappointed his overbearing yet sympathetic father, an iron-willed man who jostled his way to wealth in Vietnam before the communists took over. Su's father emerges as the central force in his life. Together, they rummaged through dumpsters for shoes and other useable castaways. His first day at an American school was a special occasion, so his father forced him to wear a suit. When he was caught after stealing $500 from his mother's piggy bank, his father beat him and forced him to strip naked before locking him outside in order to shame him. He later revealed to his son the purpose of the bank: a college fund for Su and his siblings. Filled with emotive vignettes, the prose is sometimes forced, and the book doesn't demonstrate the bold vision of Andrew X. Pham's Catfish and Mandala (1999) or the grace of Andrew Lam's Perfume Dreams (2005). But Su offers a compelling narrative of immigrant life, cultural dissonance and the tug of familial obligation. Uneven but memorable. Author appearancesin Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061543661
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/12/2009
Series:
P.S. Series
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
96,243
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.66(d)
Lexile:
830L (what's this?)
Age Range:
15 - 18 Years

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