I’m a sucka for Asian American stories, for us, by us. Especially those that involve the father/son relationship, which typically involve 5 minutes of actual signs of affection throughout an entire lifetime relationship and 60+ years of intangible/non-verbal signs of affection. I’m just sayin’…
Here’s a summary:
As a child, Lac Su and his family fled Communist Vietnam in an arduous and death-defying boat journey. After being saved by a naval cruiser near Hong Kong, Lac, his parents, and his young sister all immigrated to Los Angeles. There, living in squalid conditions and barely making ends meet, his family struggled to forge its identity in a cultural hodge-podge that often invited more trouble than solace. Destined to be one of the year’s most eye-opening memoirs, I LOVE YOUS ARE FOR WHITE PEOPLE (Harper Perennial; Trade Paperback Original; On Sale: May 12, 2009) is Lac Su’s account of finding a life of comfort and understanding while constantly made to feel like an outsider from every angle.
At the heart of this stirring memoir is the complicated relationship between Lac and his harsh, exacting father, whose desperation to provide for his family—but to make them as tough-skinned as he is—informs Lac’s entire existence. One day, when Lac hugs him and tells him he loves him, his father’s searing answer is simply this: “I love yous are for white people.” Soon enough, Lac’s search for love and acceptance leads him to a dangerous gang experience. Drawing from deep within himself, he must transcend his limitations to create a better life for himself.
The book drops on May 12. I would pick up the book for the title alone: I Love Yous Are For White People. Get it at your local corner bookstore or be lazy and tack it on with your next huge Amazon order.
For more info on book signings or contacting the author, Lac Su, check out his Myspace and Facebook: