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Asian Americans

Freedom Siyam
Spring 2018

Freedom Siyam ’00

It’s not easy being an educator of America’s future. “I work with over 150 adults every day who go home exhausted, because they are doing everything they can to reach and teach children,” says Freedom Siyam ’00.

Siyam is the principal of Balboa High School in San Francisco’s Excelsior district. “This area is the last bastion of the working class family in the city,” he says. All over the Bay Area, rents and home prices have skyrocketed as Silicon Valley has swollen and high-paid tech workers price people out of their neighborhoods.

“Regardless of what district, our families are educationally underserved,” Siyam says. “There’s … » More …

Asian American Women's Popular Literature
Fall 2014

Asian American Women’s Popular Literature

Asian American Women's Popular Literature

Pamela Thoma

Temple University Press, 2013

 

Since Nathaniel Hawthorne famously complained about the “damned mob of scribbling women” in 1855, much has changed in American literary and popular culture, not least the nation’s racial demographics, which now include substantial numbers of Asian Americans, as well as other people of color. And yet, the significance of women’s popular fiction continues to be overlooked, if not derided outright, by many social and cultural … » More …

Bruce Lee v. Chuck Norris
Summer 2014

Consider the dragon

With his fierce gaze and swift, powerful muscles, Chinese American martial artist and actor Bruce Lee inspired John Wong and a generation of Chinese people in the early 1970s. Lee embodied a new and potent physicality as an Asian man on film, one who would transcend traditional kung fu forms, influence fitness, and stand toe-to-toe against stereotypes.

“He had a quality that people admired and almost worshiped,” says Wong, associate professor in the Washington State University College of Education and sports historian. “Even people who were born after Lee died see his influence as a pioneer.”

In a recent article for Sports History Review, Wong … » More …

Spring 2009

White Jade and Other Stories

The seven stories in this collection are delightful. Sometimes funny and even perverse, they show an extravagant imagination, and a very sharp political perspective deepened by their concern for how wars and historical dislocations jam people into corners from which it sometimes takes generations to escape. The novella which follows them, White Jade, has a distinctly different tone and is a marvelous adventure in “autobiography.”It is more like a channeling or act of loving reconstitution of a deceased mother’s voice than anything like a memoir or confession or any of those other autobiographical modes which flaunt the author’s ego.

Two of the stories, Chink Food» More …

Summer 2007

Panda Diaries

In Panda Diaries, Alex Kuo’s latest novel, a panda mailman chastises his improbable cohort, Ge, for buying into its pop image. “You’re supposed to be in intelligence. You’ve seen me smoke. If I relied only on that bamboo diet, we’d all be extinct by now. That’s just a story our lobbyists invent for the foreign journalists in Beijing when they have nothing else to write about.” And unlike the surly postal carriers of America, this zoological civil servant is, in many ways, more contemplative and human than Ge can claim to be. A colonel in the Chinese secret service, Ge has been exiled to Changchun, … » More …