The accidental Asian : notes of a native speaker

by Eric Liu

Hardcover, 1998




New York : Random House, c1998. First ed.


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. In these personal and poignant reflections on assimilation, Eric Liu articulates a vision of American identity that will provoke and inspire. Weaving narrative and analysis into a series of elegant essays, Liu addresses a broad range of questions: Is whiteness America's fundamental race problem? Are Asian Americans really the New Jews? Should we fear the rising might of China? What does a journey through Chinatown reveal about our own lives? What might intermarriage mean for Asian Americans - and for the future of race itself?

User reviews

LibraryThing member autumnesf
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% American. There is worth in reading this if you are adopting transracially. There is even a chapter near the end of the book where he speculated what it much be like to be an Asian adopted by white parents and how you find yourself in that case. Worth the read.… (more)
LibraryThing member omame
i really wanted to give this book 4 or 5 stars, because there were entire passages where i felt that no one had ever understood me better than he did. i think he was much more thought-provoking and coherent when he was writing about his childhood and his relationship with his family. it was those passages that really catalyzed introspection and self-assessment in myself. in his short essays, i felt less convinced that he had an actual point to get across and was rarely moved. his chapter on asian americans as the "new jews" felt forced and as if he wasn't even quite convinced of his own argument.
overall, though, what he brought in the good parts of his memoir outweighed the annoyances and fluff of the rest of the book.
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