Set in the fictional California town of Rosarita Bay, Don Lee's Yellow is a fresh, contemporary vision of what it means to be Asian in America, a post-immigrant examination of identity, race, and love. In this sophisticated and provocative collection, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese Americans flirt across and within racial lines, and end up facing not only fears of being ethnically "yellow" but also the universal terrors of failure and abandonment.
In a wide range of moods from the hilarious to the poignant to the sublime, these stories are smart and sexy, wry and evocative. Novelistic in scope, they feature such memorable characters as Annie Yung, whose aching heart and passion for country music have her longing for a cowboy; Duncan Roh, a big-wave surfer trying to transcend his reputation as a womanizer; Patrick and Brian Fenny, two mixed-blooded boys deserted by their golfer dad; ex-fisherman Alan Fujitani, marooned in romantic widowerhood; and the wildly competitive "Oriental Hair Poets," Marcella Ahn and Caroline Yip, engaged in a battle of wits for the attention of Dean Kaneshiro, whose handcrafted chairs are museum pieces. The title novella, which was a finalist for a National Magazine Award, spans twenty years, following Danny Kim from his disastrous foray into boxing as a teenager to his ascent into Boston society as a management consultant—poisoned not so much by racism as by his paranoid fear of it.
A literary descendant of Dubliners and Winesburg, Ohio, Yellow captures modern Asian American lives with moral urgency, surprising compassion, and sly humor.