The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker

The Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker

by Eric Liu
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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.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780375704864
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/28/1999
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 546,811
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

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.

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Accidental Asian: Notes of a Native Speaker 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I came across this book because a current situation. I was faced with racism. As African-American, I was shooked to learn that my new brother and best friend who is Chinese, his mother is racist. The pain that wombed me drew me more closer to him and curious of his culture. I walked into the African American section of Barnes and Nobles and then I stopped and said to myself, 'You know it starts with me'. I located the Asian American section which was small and I grabbed this book to satisify my curiousity about my brother's culture. As I read the book, I realize that he (Eric Liu) is not different from me or from my culture but his struggle and his purpose is different. 'The Accidental Asian' and my experience made me realize that we as a people don't embrace each other's culture enough. Anna Deaver Smith says' There's so much you can read, write, talk, and learn about your own culture. It gets to a point to where you say: ok what's next?' We need to embrace each other. Eric embraces his culture and he clearly embraces other cultures himself. He's not limiting himself. This is more to my asian brothers and sisters...embrace another culture other than your own. After reading his book, then you will see what I'm talking about.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
(Stroke for me) i stand up and kiss you neck gently and nipple on your earlobe. I look into your eyes and place your hands on my ti<_>ts, giving you a oppurtunity to feel them. "I want you babe..." i whisper before i place your throbbing co<_>ck inside my soaking wet sl<_>it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A wide river great for fishing is here.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was visiting an Asian art exhibit in Washington D.C. last fall and saw this book in the bookstore. I picked it up on a whim because the cover intrigued me. As the middle child of an Asian mother and a Caucasian father, reared in the middle class South, I immediately identified with the sort of irony that it held. On the flight back home, I read the entire book without taking a break. It's wonderful! A must read for not only Asian Americans, but really for anyone who is trying to reconcile his past with his present. It's a very poignant look at the roles that family and culture play in our lives. Several sections moved me to tears and made me laugh out loud. Buy this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a UC Berkely Graduate/retired U.S. Naval Officer/first generation Chinese from the West Coast, I want to commend Eric Liu for bringing to light some unpleasnt truths that the Asian community needs to face. For Asian parents and their children who are concerned about cultural purity, inter-racial marriage, and the meaning of being caught between two worlds, Mr. Liu's essays should be required reading. The old paradigm using the race card for acquiring political points does not fit the Asian community. Instead, a better choice as implied by Mr. Liu would be to evolve into whatever random cultural personality that one falls into. An accidental happening. Just like the inter-racial relationships between female African American and male Chinese laundry workers before World War II in the San Diego area of California. Long before Tiger Woods, Children were produced from these relationships---they were 'Accidental African/Asian/Americans'. Yes, as stated in his book, the ratio of Asian men to Asian women was extremely out of balance, but this did not mean Asians, Chinese in particular, just sat on the lawn and watched sprinklers wet the grass. Even non-Asians will find food for thought and a frame of reference for practicing cultural diversity. Too bad some of my military drill instructors did not have an opportunity to read Mr. Liu's essay on Chinese hair. I would have passed more haircut inspections. Get this book!!