When Mai Neng Moua decides to get married, her mother, a widow, wants the groom to follow Hmong custom and pay a bride price, which both honors the work the bride's family has done in raising a daughter and offers a promise of love and security from the groom's family. Mai Neng, who knows the pain this tradition has caused, says no. Her husband-to-be supports her choice.
The newest addition to Red Hen's Anthology Series, Two-Countries: U.S. Daughters and Sons of Immigrant Parents is an anthology of flash memoir, personal essays and poetry edited by the adult child of an immigrant born and raised in the US. The collection contains contributions from sixty-five writers who were either born and/or raised in the US by one or more immigrant parent. Their work describes the many contradictions, discoveries and life lessons one experiences when one is neither seen as fully American nor fully foreign. Contributors include Richard Blanco, Tina Chang, Joseph Lagaspi, Li-Young Lee, Timothy Liu, Naomi Shihab Nye, Oliver de la Paz, Ira Sukrungruang, Ocean Vuong and many other talented writers from throughout the US.
In his dazzling new memoir, Richard Rodriguez reflects on the color brown and the meaning of Hispanics to the life of America today. Rodriguez argues that America has been brown since its inception-since the moment the African and the European met within the Indian eye. But more than simply a book about race, Brown is about America in the broadest sense--a look at what our country is, full of surprising observations by a writer who is a marvelous stylist as well as a trenchant observer and thinker.
What is it like to do the back-breaking work of immigrants? To find out, Gabriel Thompson spent a year working alongside Latino immigrants, who initially thought he was either crazy or an undercover immigration agent. He stooped over lettuce fields in Arizona, and worked the graveyard shift at a chicken slaughterhouse in rural Alabama. He dodged taxis--not always successfully--as a bicycle delivery "boy" for an upscale Manhattan restaurant, and was fired from a flower shop by a boss who, he quickly realized, was nuts.
Nostalgia for the imagined warm family gatherings of yesteryear has colored our understanding of family celebrations. Elizabeth Pleck examines family traditions over two centuries and finds a complicated process of change in the way Americans have celebrated holidays such as Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving, Chinese New Year, and Passover as well as the life cycle rituals of birth, coming of age, marriage, and death. By the early nineteenth century carnivalesque celebrations outside the home were becoming sentimental occasions that used consumer culture and displays of status and wealth to celebrate the idea of home and family. The 1960s saw the full emergence of a postsentimental approach to holiday celebration, which takes place outside as often as inside the home, and recognizes changes in the family and women's roles, as well as the growth of ethnic group consciousness.
This multicultural, comparative history of American family celebration, rich in detail and spiced with telling anecdotes and illustrations and a keen sense of irony, offers insight into the significance of ethnicity and consumer culture in shaping what people regard as the most memorable moments of family life.
The son of a Black African father and white American mother discusses his divided ancestry and his place in America's racial society, analyzing the quest for his own racial identity
"8vo. 403pgs. True first with unclipped dj, number line on copyright page. A slight bit of ink, very very slight, on the edges of several pages. Slight soiling to boards, else a great copy of an historic politican's first book.
Beyond black and white, native and alien, lies a vast and fertile field of human experience. It is here that Eric Liu, former speechwriter for President Clinton and noted political commentator, invites us to explore.In these compellingly candid essays, Liu reflects on his life as a second-generation Chinese American and reveals the shifting frames of ethnic identity. Finding himself unable to read a Chinese memorial book about his father's life, he looks critically at the cost of his own assimilation. But he casts an equally questioning eye on the effort to sustain vast racial categories like "Asian American." And as he surveys the rising anxiety about China's influence, Liu illuminates the space that Asians have always occupied in the American imagination. Reminiscent of the work of James Baldwin and its unwavering honesty, The Accidental Asian introduces a powerful and elegant voice into the discussion of what it means to be an American.