Archive for March, 2007
So I just read the new novel China Dolls . . . .
On the surface, I really liked it. Well written, very funny, Fast fun read. Upon further reflection, I found it to be one of the most racially stereotyped and demeaning books I have read of late.
Yu and Kan do the exact opposite of what Alisa does in her books. Alisa presents a broad spectrum of different types of Latino people, with positive and negative qualities. With regards to the men in Dirty Girls, we have a Cuban Jew wife beater, a Mexican philanderer, a Puerto Rican nice guy, an idiot white guy, and an Aztec with a superiority complex. I am not suggesting that Yu and Kan represent other Asian groups, but all of their Asian American male characters are shown as weak, dorky, effeminate, or controlling.
The characters call the Asian men names like “Asian Warrior Man.” p 136
p 129 “Haven’t you ever gone out with an Asian guy before? “Oh yeah, in college, Mike Tang. He was a nice guy. He told me he loved me five minutes after we sat down for dinner.”
All the white guys are described as tan, gorgeous perfect bodies. When any of them make rude degrading comments, their actions are excused but when the Asian male characters say something offensive, they are lambasted for being “traditional male chauvinist pigs.”
I just find it so sad that it is bad enough that white media desexualizes Asian American men, but that Asian female writers do it as well. In the history of primetime television, there has only been one Asian man that has kissed a woman (Jin and Sun from Lost) That was the main reason that I created the Tim Lee character in my book was to show a gorgeous Asian man that all the girls are in love with.
I have been reading everything in the chick lit genre I can get my hands on while I revise my book because I am learning so much by reading. In China Dolls, I found that I couldn’t distinguish at all between the three characters and they all seemed to have the same voice, so I am really trying to make all my characters distinct.