Biting the Hand: Growing Up Asian in Black and White America

Julia Lee

Hardcover

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SKU: 9781250824677
Biting the Hand: Growing Up Asian in Black and White America by Lee, Julia
Regular price $26.99
Regular price Sale price $26.99

Julia Lee is angry. And she has questions.
What does it mean to be Asian in America? What does it look like to be an ally or an accomplice? How can we shatter the structures of white supremacy that fuel racial stratification?

When Julia was fifteen, her hometown went up in smoke during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. The daughter of Korean immigrant store owners in a predominantly Black neighborhood, Julia was taught to be grateful for the privilege afforded to her. However, the acquittal of four white police officers in the beating of Rodney King, following the murder of Latasha Harlins by a Korean shopkeeper, forced Julia to question her racial identity and complicity. She was neither Black nor white. So who was she?

This question would follow Julia for years to come, resurfacing as she traded in her tumultuous childhood for the white upper echelon of elite academia. It was only when she began a PhD in English that she found answers--not through studying Victorian literature, as Julia had planned, but rather in the brilliant prose of writers like James Baldwin and Toni Morrison. Their works gave Julia the vocabulary and, more important, the permission to critically examine her own tortured position as an Asian American, setting off a powerful journey of racial reckoning, atonement, and self-discovery.

With prose by turns scathing and heart-wrenching, Julia lays bare the complex disorientation and shame that stem from this country's imposed racial hierarchy. And she argues that Asian Americans must work toward lasting social change alongside Black and brown communities in order to combat the scarcity culture of white supremacy through abundance and joy. In this passionate, no-holds-barred memoir, Julia interrogates her own experiences of marginality and resistance, and ultimately asks what may be the biggest question of all--what can we do?

Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
Published: 04/18/2023
Pages: 256
Weight: 0.72lbs
Size: 8.57h x 5.60w x 0.96d
ISBN: 9781250824677


Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 11/01/2022 pg. 18
Publishers Weekly 01/16/2023
Booklist 02/15/2023 pg. 5
Kirkus Reviews 02/15/2023
BookPage 05/01/2023

About the Author
Julia Lee is a Korean American writer, scholar, and teacher. She is the author of Our Gang: A Racial History of "The Little Rascals" and The American Slave Narrative and the Victorian Novel, as well as the novel By the Book, which was published under the pen name Julia Sonneborn. She is an associate professor of English at Loyola Marymount University, where she teaches African American and Caribbean literature. She lives with her family in Los Angeles.