Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Over the weekend, I quickly read American Born Chinese, a graphic novel by Gene Luen Yang. Besides the illustrations, posed and poised dialogue, and international characterization, Yang does an exquisite job of blending home-country traditions, acculturation pressures, and poignant morality via wit, skilled drawings and a blended story line that meshes the pressures of being American-born and Chinese, especially as one crushes on the cute blonde but doesn't represent the MTV ideal of masculinity in America.
I always draw on Walt Whitman when I think about the ways I want America to sing and I channel his karma when reading a brilliant graphic novel like American Born Chinese. We live in a culture where multimodal communication: comics, story, plot and book awards arrive from the tensions of feeling out of place in a society where everyone else feels to be just fine.
I'm celebrate such work. Thanks to the Nottingham librarian for suggesting it.