About American Born Chinese
“Gene Luen Yang is the National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature.
Jin Wang starts at a new school where he’s the only Chinese-American student. When a boy from Taiwan joins his class, Jin doesn’t want to be associated with an FOB like him. Jin just wants to be an all-American boy, because he’s in love with an all-American girl. Danny is an all-American boy: great at basketball, popular with the girls. But his obnoxious Chinese cousin Chin-Kee’s annual visit is such a disaster that it ruins Danny’s reputation at school, leaving him with no choice but to transfer somewhere he can start all over again. The Monkey King has lived for thousands of years and mastered the arts of kung fu and the heavenly disciplines. He’s ready to join the ranks of the immortal gods in heaven. But there’s no place in heaven for a monkey. Each of these characters cannot help himself alone, but how can they possibly help each other? They’re going to have to find a way—if they want fix the disasters their lives have become.
American Born Chinese is a 2006 National Book Award Finalist for Young People’s Literature, the winner of the 2007 Eisner Award for Best Graphic Album: New, an Eisner Award nominee for Best Coloring, a 2007 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, and a New York Times bestseller.”
The Spoilers are back after a bit of a hiatus, and man, do we have an episode for you. In our triumphant return to the mics, we take up Gene Yang’s sprawling graphic novel, AMERICAN BORN CHINESE. This colorful, complex feat of storytelling had us all over the place — from the Google Empire to classic 80s sitcoms to the Baby Jesus. We spend a good deal of time trying to figure the whole book out, and in the end I think we gain a pretty good handle on why so many people love it so much. It’s all about breaking down walls and being who you were meant to be. What’s more important than that? Big thanks to friend of the show, Maquelle Huntley, for recommending it to us!
What the spoilers are reading, watching and/or listening to?
References and Resources
- Gabby Rivera, JULIET TAKES A BREATH
- Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, RACE FOR PROFIT: HOW BANKS AND THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY UNDERMINED BLACK HOMEOWNERSHIP
- Tressie McMillan Cottam, THICK
- Jennifer Latham, DREAMLAND BURNING
- Erika Lee, THE MAKING OF ASIAN AMERICA
- Gene Luen Yang, Glare of Disdain
- Thessaly La Force, The Comedians Challenging Stereotypes About Asian-American Masculinity
- M. Night Shyamalan, THE VILLAGE
- PERFECT STRANGERS