Sunday, May 26, 2013

Review: American Born Chinese

Coming from a mixed background, I often felt closer to one over the other and resented when people said: "but you are both." Why couldn't I chose who I wanted to be? 

In American Born Chinese, we meet Jin Wang, a chinese boy who doesn't want to be considered anything else but American. Kids are cruel to him and his Asian friends, and I don't blame him for not feeling safe in his skin. But the best thing about growing up is learning how to love yourself for who you are. Will Jin Wang learn this lesson before it's too late?

The story was very well paced, overlapping the three unrelated characters without drowning us with too much information.  The dialogue felt real, even in the case of Chin-Kee, whom Gene Luen Yang portrayed as the ultimate Chinese stereotype. Chin-Kee didn't make us laugh of mockery but rather feel for him every time his cousin Danny shuddered at his presence. 

So in case you are feeling like you need to erase your cultural background remember that: "It's easy to become anything you wish ... so long as you are willing to forfeit your soul."

Also by Luen Yang

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