American Born Chinese: graphic novel review

American Born Chinese provides an easily accessible introduction to the immigrant experience in a graphic novel format.  It is an award winning book that even my 4 year old was drawn into, but the subtle allegory can be brilliant at times.  Find additional information at:

Like the traditional Judge Dee novels I’ve discussed previously, this book has 3 stories that come together at the end.  The surprise ending deftly connects the stories and takes the engaging superficial plots and make them both more relevant and as meta as the professional navel gazer might want.

I’ve loved the story of the monkey king, and his adventures to the west, and understood it to communicate something about the Chinese collective unconscious, but the way Yang owns this story, while staying true to it’s essential message, deserves applause.

Find the book on Amazon, and if you have kindle the reading experience on a Kindle fire, or computer/ tablet should be nice.  Graphic novels are made for such devices.

The overt racism as illustrated by our second picture (one of the three big plotlines) is relevant, and while I’ve been quite sensitive to racism against Asians, particularly the Chinese, for the last couple decades, I learned some things that will make me a bit more sensitive in the future.