Readers who like historical fiction might enjoy Lynne Kutsukake’s The Translation of Love. It’s a historical novel about life in post-war Japan following WWII. The novel focuses on a twelve-year old girl named Fumi who is trying to find her sister Sumiko, who has left home to become a hostess for American GI’s. Along with her friend Aya, a repatriated Japanese girl from the U.S., she writes a letter to General MacArthur in hopes that he will help her. Along the way, we meet several other interesting characters: Kondo, the girls’ homeroom teacher who moonlights as a translator; Matt and Nancy, two military translators who are Americans of Japanese descent; and Sumiko, the missing sister who is trying to make a living and support her family as best she can.
An Asian American FB friend posted this article from the New Yorker: Doomsday Prep For the Super-Rich. Evidently prepping just isn’t for the middle-class anymore. The super-rich are doing it too, which should be scary given that the super-rich now control the country. If they have no faith in their own ability to run it, then how should the rest of us feel? The article talks about rich peoples’ obsession with New Zealand as an escape. Even Peter Thiel, Mr. Trump’s most famous Silicon Valley backer, has invested in New Zealand as an escape destination when The Shit Hits The Fan (TSHTF). If Peter Thiel is hedging, what should the rest of us do?
(pic of Tila Tequila of the alt-right here.) Interesting article that I saw on FB: Meet the White Nationalist Trying to Ride The Trump Train to Lasting Power. It’s about a White Nationalist named Richard Spencer, and it was written before the election. Spencer was the person who coined the term “alt-right,” and he is widely seen as the founder of the movement. The article describes Spencer’s adulation of Donald Trump before the election. Now that the election is over and Trump has won, Spencer is flying high, talking about ending non-White immigration and turning this country into a European state. But what the people on my FB feed found interesting was that in the recent past, Richard Spencer was into Asian women:
I’m writing this blog post for a number of reasons. First, it behooves me to mention some of the issues that more recent Asian American immigrants and immigrant human rights organizations have been dealing with. If you look at 4:46 of the video above, that’s a news story that has not been passed around by most of the Asian American blogosphere. If you read the typical Asian American blogs, it’s like it never happened. They only want to talk about how Peter Liang shot Akai Gurley.
Second, I wanted to take on Snoopy’s statement that
Recently, a number of big things have happened in the HollywoodSphere. First, there’s a new Bruce Lee movie being made, but apparently it’s told from the perspective of a White guy dating an Asian woman. Second, NBC almost bought a TV show about a Filipina mail-order bride. Third, Fox News posted a racist man-on-the-street video covering New York Chinatown (you can google the Fox News clip, and you can see the Daily News response here).
The Conjoined is the third adult novel of Canadian American author Jen Sookfong Lee. I reviewed her first novel The End of East years ago, and I am happy to see that she’s still writing. Too often Asian American writers write one novel before disappearing forever. I’m happy that Jen Sookfong Lee is still in the game and growing stronger as a writer. And growing she is. I couldn’t put this novel down. She has grown not only as a writer, but also as an observer and a student of life (which she describes in detail on her website). She was always a good writer, but in her new novel, she demonstrates her cultural bilingualism and keen understanding of humankind. It was truly delightful.
Up until my twenties, I had known only two Asian American men who married black women. One was my granduncle who was half-black himself. He was my grand-uncle not by blood, but by the fact that he and my grandmother and granduncles had grown up together. Wayne Boc spoke Cantonese fluently and knew everything about Chinese culture. I’m too young to remember, but I think he may have kicked my ass in Chinese chess. The story was that his father had opened a laundry in the middle of a majority black area in New York and had fallen in love with a local African American woman. Think about that–Wayne Boc’s was my grandfather’s age, and my grandfather was born in 1924. His father married a black woman around the time my grandfather was born, and then Wayne Boc himself, who was my grandfather’s age, married a black woman. How revolutionary is that?
After years of competing head to head, in their 31st game at classical time controls (according to Wikipedia), American #2 Hikaru Nakamura finally beat World Champion Magnus Carlsen. Hikaru has come close a few times, but yesterday was the first day where he actually pulled it off. I’ve always thought that he had some kind of mental block against Carlsen, which is unfortunate since Naka is usually a very exciting player. Hopefully his dry spell is over. See Hikaru’s interview above; see an analysis of the game below.
I’ve been checking out the YouTubeiverse, mostly checking out Jvloggers in Japan. It’s pretty cool how many voices are out there. When I hear them talk about Japan, I recognize truth in lots of their remarks about cultural differences. It’s interesting stuff. It’s particularly interesting to hear from jvloggers who have spent years in Japan and have decided to live there permanently. I always wondered what life would be like if I stayed. There was no YouTube when I lived in Japan, so I didn’t get the benefit of hearing all this.