Here’s a romantic comedy that shows how difficult it is to be raised in America as a part of a racial minority. Shawn Wong’s second novel, American Knees, takes its title from a schoolyard taunt leveled at Raymond Ding, the Chinese-American protagonist. (”’What are you — Chinese, Japanese, or American knees?’ they’d chant.”) The novel charts the ups and downs in Ding’s relationship with a beautiful woman named Aurora, who is half-Irish and half-Japanese. Though Wong paints a careful portrait of his characters in their romantic plight, his novel is very short on narrative drive and, sadly, long on an anticlimactic series of conversational go-rounds that take place during one of the couple’s breakups. By the book’s end, unfortunately, their yearning for one another becomes couched in a long-winded psychobabble about cultural identity and sociopolitics. B-
American Knees Here's a romantic comedy that shows how difficult it is to be raised in America as a part of a racial minority. Shawn Wong's second novel, American KneesFictionShawn Wong Here's a romantic comedy that shows how difficult it is to be raised in America as a part of a racial minority. Shawn Wong's second novel, 1995-08-11Simon & Schuster
Genre: Fiction; Author: Shawn Wong; Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Posted August 11 1995 — 12:00 AM EDT
- Read an exclusive excerpt from Estelle Laure's 'This Raging Light'
- 'Silicon Valley' star T.J. Miller on his 'absurd' HBO pilot 'The Gorburger Show'
- Casting Net: Woody Harrelson, Laura Dern in negotiations for 'Wilson'
- Natalie Portman relives 'dark moments' at Harvard in commencement speech
- Thom Yorke made an 18-day-long soundtrack, still not new Radiohead music
- 'Serial' set for two more seasons
- Jenelle Evans of 'Teen Mom 2': Arrest warrant