Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning

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Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
Title Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
Author
Publisher One World
Release DateFebruary 25, 2020
Category Biographies & Memoirs
Total Pages 224 pages
ISBN 1984820362
Book Rating 4.7 out of 5 from 331 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness and the struggle to be human “Brilliant . . . To read this book is to become more human.”—Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen ONE OF TIME’S MUST-READ BOOKS OF 2020 Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative—and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world. Binding these essays together is Hong’s theory of “minor feelings.” As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these “minor feelings” occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality—when you believe the lies you’re told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they’re dissonant—and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her. With sly humor and a poet’s searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche—and of a writer’s search to both uncover and speak the truth. Praise for Minor Feelings “Hong begins her new book of essays with a bang. . . .The essays wander a variegated terrain of memoir, criticism and polemic, oscillating between smooth proclamations of certainty and twitches of self-doubt. . . . Minor Feelings is studded with moments [of] candor and dark humor shot through with glittering self-awareness.”—The New York Times “Hong uses her own experiences as a jumping off point to examine race and emotion in the United States.”—Newsweek (40 Must-Read Fiction and Nonfiction Books to Savor This Spring) “Powerful . . . [Hong] brings together memoiristic personal essay and reflection, historical accounts and modern reporting, and other works of art and writing, in order to amplify a multitude of voices and capture Asian America as a collection of contradictions. She does so with sharp wit and radical transparency.”—Salon

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Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong

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Publisher One World/Ballantine
Release Date 2020
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"Asian Americans inhabit a purgatorial status: neither white enough nor black enough, unmentioned in most conversations about racial identity. In the popular imagination, Asian Americans are all high-achieving professionals. But in reality, this is the most economically divided group in the country, a tenuous alliance of people with roots from South Asia to East Asia to the Pacific Islands, from tech millionaires to service industry laborers ... Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong ... confronts this thorny subject, blending memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose the truth of racialized consciousness in America"--Publisher marketing.

Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong

Title Minor Feelings
Author Cathy Park Hong
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A ruthlessly honest, emotionally charged, and utterly original exploration of Asian American consciousness and the struggle to be human “Brilliant . . . To read this book is to become more human.”—Claudia Rankine, author of Citizen Poet and essayist Cathy Park Hong fearlessly and provocatively blends memoir, cultural criticism, and history to expose fresh truths about racialized consciousness in America. Part memoir and part cultural criticism, this collection is vulnerable, humorous, and provocative—and its relentless and riveting pursuit of vital questions around family and friendship, art and politics, identity and individuality, will change the way you think about our world. Binding these essays together is Hong’s theory of “minor feelings.” As the daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these “minor feelings” occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality—when you believe the lies you’re told about your own racial identity. Minor feelings are not small, they’re dissonant—and in their tension Hong finds the key to the questions that haunt her. With sly humor and a poet’s searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness in America today. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche—and of a writer’s search to both uncover and speak the truth. Praise for Minor Feelings “Hong begins her new book of essays with a bang. . . .The essays wander a variegated terrain of memoir, criticism and polemic, oscillating between smooth proclamations of certainty and twitches of self-doubt. . . . Minor Feelings is studded with moments [of] candor and dark humor shot through with glittering self-awareness.”—The New York Times “Hong uses her own experiences as a jumping off point to examine race and emotion in the United States.”—Newsweek (40 Must-Read Fiction and Nonfiction Books to Savor This Spring) “Powerful . . . [Hong] brings together memoiristic personal essay and reflection, historical accounts and modern reporting, and other works of art and writing, in order to amplify a multitude of voices and capture Asian America as a collection of contradictions. She does so with sharp wit and radical transparency.”—Salon

Minor Feelings by Cathy Park Hong

Title Minor Feelings
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Chosen as a Guardian BOOK OF 2020 and picked by AnOther as a Book You Should Read This Year"unputdownable ... Hong's razor-sharp, provocative prose will linger long after you put Minor Feelings down" AnOther 'Minor Feelings is anything but minor. In these provocative and passionate essays, Cathy Park Hong gives us an incendiary account of what it means to be and to feel Asian American today ... Minor Feelings is absolutely necessary.' - Nguyen Thanh Viet, author of the Sympathizer 'Hong says the book was 'a dare to herself', and she makes good on it: by writing into the heart of her own discomfort, she emerges with a reckoning destined to be a classic.' - Maggie Nelson, author of the Argonauts What happens when an immigrant believes the lies they're told about their own racial identity? For Cathy Park Hong, they experience the shame and difficulty of "minor feelings". The daughter of Korean immigrants, Cathy Park Hong grew up in America steeped in shame, suspicion, and melancholy. She would later understand that these "minor feelings" occur when American optimism contradicts your own reality. With sly humour and a poet's searching mind, Hong uses her own story as a portal into a deeper examination of racial consciousness. This intimate and devastating book traces her relationship to the English language, to shame and depression, to poetry and artmaking, and to family and female friendship. A radically honest work of art, Minor Feelings forms a portrait of one Asian American psyche - and of a writer's search to both uncover and speak the truth.

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Title Dance Dance Revolution
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A volume of poetic works blends the Barnard Women Poets Prize-winning writer's imaginings with historical references, in a sequential collection that features such voices as a South Korean dissident and considers the shared experiences of the modern globalized world.

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The fascinating story of the rise of Asian Americans as a politically and socially influential racial group This groundbreaking book is about the transformation of Asian Americans from a few small, disconnected, and largely invisible ethnic groups into a self-identified racial group that is influencing every aspect of American society. It explores the junctures that shocked Asian Americans into motion and shaped a new consciousness, including the murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, by two white autoworkers who believed he was Japanese; the apartheid-like working conditions of Filipinos in the Alaska canneries; the boycott of Korean American greengrocers in Brooklyn; the Los Angeles riots; and the casting of non-Asians in the Broadway musical Miss Saigon. The book also examines the rampant stereotypes of Asian Americans. Helen Zia, the daughter of Chinese immigrants, was born in the 1950s when there were only 150,000 Chinese Americans in the entire country, and she writes as a personal witness to the dramatic changes involving Asian Americans. Written for both Asian Americans -- the fastest-growing population in the United States -- and non-Asians, Asian American Dreams argues that America can no longer afford to ignore these emergent, vital, and singular American people.

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"A brainy, glinting triptych . . . . Novelistic, meditative, offbeat, and soulful, Cathy Park Hong's poetry is many fathoms deep." —David Mitchell Engine Empire is a trilogy of lyric and narrative poems that evoke an array of genres and voices, from Western ballads to sonnets about industrialized China to fragmented lyric poems set in the future. Through three distinct yet interconnected sequences, Cathy Park Hong explores the collective consciousness of fictionalized boomtowns in order to explore the myth of prosperity. The first sequence, called "Ballad of Our Jim," draws inspiration from the Old West and follows a band of outlaw fortune seekers who travel to a California mining town during the 1800s. In the second sequence, "Shangdu, My Artful Boomtown!" a fictional industrialized boomtown draws its inspiration from present-day Shenzhen, China. The third and last section, "The World Cloud," is set in the far future and tracks how individual consciousness breaks up when everything—books, our private memories—becomes immediately accessible data. One of our most startlingly original poets, Hong draws together individual voices at odds with the world, voices that sing their wonder and terror.

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In Racial Melancholia, Racial Dissociation critic David L. Eng and psychotherapist Shinhee Han draw on case histories from the mid-1990s to the present to explore the social and psychic predicaments of Asian American young adults from Generation X to Generation Y. Combining critical race theory with several strands of psychoanalytic thought, they develop the concepts of racial melancholia and racial dissociation to investigate changing processes of loss associated with immigration, displacement, diaspora, and assimilation. These case studies of first- and second-generation Asian Americans deal with a range of difficulties, from depression, suicide, and the politics of coming out to broader issues of the model minority stereotype, transnational adoption, parachute children, colorblind discourses in the United States, and the rise of Asia under globalization. Throughout, Eng and Han link psychoanalysis to larger structural and historical phenomena, illuminating how the study of psychic processes of individuals can inform investigations of race, sexuality, and immigration while creating a more sustained conversation about the social lives of Asian Americans and Asians in the diaspora.

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An innovative and powerful exploration of cultural loss, exile, and suffering, Dictee explores dislocation and linguistic fragmentation while telling the story of nine women . It belongs with the work of Audre Lord and Gloria Anzaldua and other contemporary classics that address the subject of ethnic identity, hybridity, and the complexity of "mestizo" culture.

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“Fierce and refreshing.”— Carlos Lozada, Washington Post Named a notable book of the year by the New York Times Book Review and the Washington Post, and one of the best books of the year by Spectator and Publishers Weekly, The Souls of Yellow Folk is the powerful debut from one of the most acclaimed essayists of his generation. Wesley Yang writes about race and sex without the polite lies that bore us all.

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Asian American Feminisms and Women of Color Politics brings together groundbreaking essays that speak to the relationship between Asian American feminisms, feminist of color work, and transnational feminist scholarship. This collection, featuring work by both senior and rising scholars, considers topics including the politics of visibility, histories of Asian American participation in women of color political formations, accountability for Asian American �settler complicities� and cross-racial solidarities, and Asian American community-based strategies against state violence as shaped by and tied to women of color feminisms. Asian American Feminisms and Women of Color Politics provides a deep conceptual intervention into the theoretical underpinnings of Asian American studies; ethnic studies; women�s, gender, and sexual studies; as well as cultural studies in general.

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The definitive history of Asian Americans by one of the nation’s preeminent scholars on the subject. In the past fifty years, Asian Americans have helped change the face of America and are now the fastest growing group in the United States. But as award-winning historian Erika Lee reminds us, Asian Americans also have deep roots in the country. The Making of Asian America tells the little-known history of Asian Americans and their role in American life, from the arrival of the first Asians in the Americas to the present-day. An epic history of global journeys and new beginnings, this book shows how generations of Asian immigrants and their American-born descendants have made and remade Asian American life in the United States: sailors who came on the first trans-Pacific ships in the 1500s; indentured “coolies” who worked alongside African slaves in the Caribbean; and Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and South Asian immigrants who were recruited to work in the United States only to face massive racial discrimination, Asian exclusion laws, and for Japanese Americans, incarceration during World War II. Over the past fifty years, a new Asian America has emerged out of community activism and the arrival of new immigrants and refugees. No longer a “despised minority,” Asian Americans are now held up as America’s “model minorities” in ways that reveal the complicated role that race still plays in the United States. Published to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the United States’ Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 that has remade our “nation of immigrants,” this is a new and definitive history of Asian Americans. But more than that, it is a new way of understanding America itself, its complicated histories of race and immigration, and its place in the world today.

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A narrative history of the movement that turned “Orientals” into Asian Americans Until the political ferment of the Long Sixties, there were no Asian Americans. There were only isolated communities of mostly Chinese, Japanese, and Filipinos lumped together as “Orientals.” Serve the People tells the story of the social and cultural movement that knit these disparate communities into a political identity, the history of how—and why—the double consciousness of Asian America came to be. At the same time, Karen Ishizuka’s vivid narrative reveals the personal epiphanies and intimate stories of insurgent movers and shakers and ground-level activists alike. Drawing on more than 120 interviews and illustrated with striking images from guerrilla movement publications, the book evokes the feeling of growing up alien in a society rendered in black and white, and recalls the intricate memories and meanings of the Asian American movement. Serve the People paints a panoramic landscape of a radical time, and is destined to become the definitive history of the making of Asian America.

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Author Ed Bok Lee
Publisher Coffee House Press
Release Date 2019-03-05
Category Poetry
Total Pages 186
ISBN 9781566895415
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Taking mitochondrial DNA as his guide, Lee explores familial and national legacies, and their persistence across shifting boundaries and the erosions of time. In these poems, the trait of an ancestor appears in the face of a newborn, and in her cry generations of women's voices echo. Stories, both benign and traumatic, travel as lore and DNA. Using lush, exact imagery, whether about the corner bar or a hilltop in Korea, Lee is a careful observer, tracking and documenting the way that seemingly small moments can lead to larger insights. From Mitochondrial Night: We’re drumming, he explained, in the tradition of shamans, so the ancestors won't be so lonely. Because spirits need us more than we need them. And for hours they’ll listen to anyone

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Title White Flights
Author Jess Row
Publisher Graywolf Press
Release Date 2019-08-06
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781555978815
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A bold, incisive look at race and reparative writing in American fiction, by the author of Your Face in Mine White Flights is a meditation on whiteness in American fiction and culture from the end of the civil rights movement to the present. At the heart of the book, Jess Row ties “white flight”—the movement of white Americans into segregated communities, whether in suburbs or newly gentrified downtowns—to white writers setting their stories in isolated or emotionally insulated landscapes, from the mountains of Idaho in Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping to the claustrophobic households in Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections. Row uses brilliant close readings of work from well-known writers such as Don DeLillo, Annie Dillard, Richard Ford, and David Foster Wallace to examine the ways these and other writers have sought imaginative space for themselves at the expense of engaging with race. White Flights aims to move fiction to a more inclusive place, and Row looks beyond criticism to consider writing as a reparative act. What would it mean, he asks, if writers used fiction “to approach each other again”? Row turns to the work of James Baldwin, Dorothy Allison, and James Alan McPherson to discuss interracial love in fiction, while also examining his own family heritage as a way to interrogate his position. A moving and provocative book that includes music, film, and literature in its arguments, White Flights is an essential work of cultural and literary criticism.

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Title In the Country
Author Mia Alvar
Publisher Vintage
Release Date 2015-06-16
Category Fiction
Total Pages 368
ISBN 9780385352840
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

These nine globe-trotting, unforgettable stories from Mia Alvar, a remarkable new literary talent, vividly give voice to the women and men of the Filipino diaspora. Here are exiles, emigrants, and wanderers uprooting their families from the Philippines to begin new lives in the Middle East, the United States, and elsewhere—and, sometimes, turning back again. A pharmacist living in New York smuggles drugs to his ailing father in Manila, only to discover alarming truths about his family and his past. In Bahrain, a Filipina teacher drawn to a special pupil finds, to her surprise, that she is questioning her own marriage. A college student leans on her brother, a laborer in Saudi Arabia, to support her writing ambitions, without realizing that his is the life truly made for fiction. And in the title story, a journalist and a nurse face an unspeakable trauma amidst the political turmoil of the Philippines in the 1970s and ’80s. In the Country speaks to the heart of everyone who has ever searched for a place to call home. From teachers to housemaids, from mothers to sons, Alvar’s powerful debut collection explores the universal experiences of loss, displacement, and the longing to connect across borders both real and imagined. Deeply compassionate and richly felt, In the Country marks the emergence of a formidable new writer. From the Hardcover edition.

Race And Resistance by Viet Thanh Nguyen

Title Race and Resistance
Author Viet Thanh Nguyen
Publisher Oxford University Press
Release Date 2002-03-28
Category Literary Criticism
Total Pages 240
ISBN 9780190287238
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

In Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America, Viet Nguyen argues that Asian American intellectuals have idealized Asian America, ignoring its saturation with capitalist practices. This idealization of Asian America means that Asian American intellectuals can neither grapple with their culture's ideological diversity nor recognize their own involvement with capitalist practices such as the selling of racial identity. Making his case through the example of literature, which remains a critical arena of cultural production for Asian Americans, Nguyen demonstrates that literature embodies the complexities, conflicts, and potential future options of Asian American culture.

Ornamentalism by Anne Anlin Cheng

Title Ornamentalism
Author Anne Anlin Cheng
Publisher Oxford University Press, USA
Release Date 2019
Category Asians
Total Pages 224
ISBN 9780190604615
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Ornamentalism offers one of the first sustained and original theories of Asiatic femininity. Examining ornamentality, in lieu of Orientalism, as a way to understand the representation, circulation, and ontology of Asiatic femininity, this study extends our vocabulary about the woman of colorbeyond the usual platitudes about objectification. By offering us a conceptual frame through which to focus on race without being solely beholden to flesh or skin, this study alters the foundational terms of feminism and places Asian femininity at the center of an entire epistemology of race. Bytracing a direct link between the making of artificial Asiatic femininity and a seemingly much more technological history of synthetic personhood in the West from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, Ornamentalism shows how the construction of modern personhood in the multiple realms of law,culture, and art has been surprisingly indebted to this very marginal figure.Drawing from and speaking to the multiple fields of feminism, critical race theory, visual culture, performance studies, legal studies, Modernism, Orientalism, Object Studies and New Materialism, Ornamentalism will leave reader with a greater understanding of what it is to be in Americanculture.

My Baby First Birthday by Jenny Zhang

Title My Baby First Birthday
Author Jenny Zhang
Publisher Tin House Books
Release Date 2020-05-12
Category Poetry
Total Pages 186
ISBN 9781947793910
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Radiant and tender, My Baby First Birthday is a collection that examines innocence, asking us who gets to be loved and who has to deplete themselves just to survive. Jenny Zhang writes about accepting pain, about the way we fetishize womanhood and motherhood, and reduce women to their violations, traumas, and body parts. She questions the way we feminize and racialize nurturing, and live in service of other people’s dreams. How we idealize birth and being baby, how it’s only in our mothers’ wombs that we’re still considered innocent, blameless, and undamaged, because it’s only then that we don’t have to earn love. Her poems explore the obscenity of patriarchy, whiteness, and capitalism, the violence of rescue and heroism. The magic trick in My Baby First Birthday is that despite all these themes, the book never feels like some jeremiad. Zhang uses friendship as a lyric. She seeks tenderness, radiant beauty, and having love for your mistakes. Through all this, she writes about being alone—really alone, like why-was-I-ever-born alone—and trying, despite everything, to reach out and touch something—skin to skin, animal to animal.

New Waves by Kevin Nguyen

Title New Waves
Author Kevin Nguyen
Publisher One World
Release Date 2020-03-10
Category Fiction
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781984855244
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A wry and edgy debut novel about a heist gone wrong, a secret online life exposed, and a young man’s search for true connection “A brilliant meditation on death and grief in the age of the internet.”—Tommy Orange, author of There, There Lucas and Margo are fed up. Margo is a brilliant programmer tired of being talked over as the company’s sole black employee, and while Lucas is one of many Asians at the firm, he’s nearly invisible as a low-paid customer service rep. Together, they decide to steal their tech startup’s user database in an attempt at revenge. The heist takes a sudden turn when Margo dies in a car accident, and Lucas is left reeling, wondering what to do with their secret—and wondering whether her death really was an accident. When Lucas hacks into Margo’s computer looking for answers, he is drawn into her private online life and realizes just how little he knew about his best friend. With a fresh voice, biting humor, and piercing observations about human nature, Kevin Nguyen brings an insider’s knowledge of the tech industry to this imaginative novel. A pitch-perfect exploration of race and startup culture, secrecy and surveillance, social media and friendship, New Waves asks: How well do we really know one another? And how do we form true intimacy and connection in a tech-obsessed world? Advance praise for New Waves “Nguyen’s stellar debut is a piercing assessment of young adulthood, the tech industry, and racism. . . . Nguyen impressively holds together his overlapping plot threads while providing incisive criticism of privilege and a dose of sharp humor. The story is fast-paced and fascinating, but also deeply felt; the effect is a page-turner with some serious bite.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “A blistering sendup of startup culture and a sprawling, ambitious, tender debut.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Title Not a Novel A Memoir in Pieces
Author Jenny Erpenbeck
Publisher New Directions Publishing
Release Date 2020-09-01
Category Literary Collections
Total Pages 212
ISBN 9780811229333
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

A collection of highly personal and poetic essays about life, literature, and politics by the renowned German writer, Jenny Erpenbeck Jenny Erpenbeck’s highly acclaimed novel Go, Went, Gone was a New York Times notable book and launched one of Germany’s most admired writers into the American spotlight. In the New Yorker, James Wood wrote: “When Erpenbeck wins the Nobel Prize in a few years, I suspect that this novel will be cited.” On the heels of this literary breakthrough comes , a book of personal, profound, often humorous meditations and reflections. Erpenbeck writes, “With this collection of texts, I am looking back for the first time at many years of my life, at the thoughts that filled my life from day to day.” Starting with her childhood days in East Berlin (“I start with my life as a schoolgirl … my own conscious life begins at the same time as the socialist life of Leipziger Strasse”), Not a Novel provides a glimpse of growing up in the GDR and of what it was like to be twenty-two when the wall collapsed; it takes us through Erpenbeck’s early adult years, working in a bakery after immersing herself in the worlds of music, theater, and opera, and ultimately discovering her path as a writer. There are lively essays about her literary influences (Thomas Bernhard, the Brothers Grimm, Kafka, and Thomas Mann), unforgettable reflections on the forces at work in her novels (including history, silence, and time), and scathing commentaries on the dire situation of America and Europe today. “Why do we still hear laments for the Germans who died attempting to flee over the wall, but almost none for the countless refugees who have drowned in the Mediterranean in recent years, turning the sea into a giant grave?” With deep insight and warm intelligence, Jenny Erpenbeck provides us with a collection of unforgettable essays that take us into the heart and mind of “one of the finest and most exciting writers alive” (Michel Faber).

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