20 Essential Books About the Asian American Experience

Published in 1995, Lee’s searing debut novel about an Asian American man walking a tightrope between two cultures remains as relevant as ever. Described by his estranged wife as a “surreptitious, B+ student of life, illegal alien, emotional alien, Yellow peril: neo-American, stranger, follower, traitor, spy,” Henry Park is an American born to Korean immigrants, who works as a spy assigned to monitor an ascendent Korean-American politician. Henry longs to be what he considers a true American (a “native speaker”), but he remains an eternal outsider, neither American enough nor Korean enough to fully inhabit either identity. In this incisive story of alienation and assimilation, Lee crafts a blistering, deeply felt portrait of the second-generation immigrant experience. Get the Book

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