Big Little Man

Big Little Man

In Search of My Asian Self

eBook - 2014
Average Rating:
3
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"Why do so many people find Asian women sexy but Asian men sexless? Alex Tizon's family emigrated from the Philippines when he was four. He quickly learned to be ashamed of his face, his color, his physical size. In movies and on television he saw Asian men as 'servants, villains, or geeks, one-dimensional, powerless, sneaky little men.' His fierce and funny observations of sex and the Asian American male include the story of his own college life in the 1980s, a tortured tutorial on just how little sex appeal accrued to the Asian man. And then, two transformations. First, Tizon's growing understanding that shame is universal; that his own just happened to take racial shape. Next, seismic cultural changes--from Xiu Xiang's 2004 Olympic gold-winning sprint, to Jerry Yang's phenomenal success with Yahoo! Inc., to Keanu Reeves' leading-man status in The Matrix--that draw him out of his exile. Finally, Tizon's deeply original, taboo-bending investigation turns outward, tracking the unheard stories of young men today, in a landscape still complex but much changed for the Asian American man"-- Provided by publisher.
"A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist's memoir, in the spirit of Richard Rodriquez's Hunger for Memory and Nathan McCall's Makes Me Wanna Holler--an intimate look at the mythology, experience, and psyche of the Asian American male"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Boston :, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt,, 2014
ISBN: 9780544232853
Characteristics: text file,rda
1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc. - Distributor

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NikkiCelis
May 12, 2017

I write this during Asian heritage month, where many non-Asians can have the opportunity to see a surface-level dissemination of "Asian" culture that isn't solely presented within the corn-starch versions of non-occidental cuisine.

Borrowed initially due to my increased propensity to search for writers of Filipino descent, I had stumbled across Alex Tizon's work at the Central Library. His work is uncomfortable in its profound honesty--projecting a lot of the frustrations that I hold in tandem with his: of being an Asian Canadian, a Filipino Canadian, in this growing community of youths born of diaspora and a lingering feeling of limbo due to being unable to find a place within the Canadian community.

I recommend this book, Big Little Man, to anyone who seeks further introspection regarding the factors that shape their identity and the adverse elements that tear it down. I also recommend it to those who take the Asian identity for granted, placing a supposedly perfect minority group at a lower pedestal for cultural learning than black, white, and first nations culture. Alex Tizon is sharp, direct with his language, and glaringly honest--which might pose a problem for the onion-skinned. But, if you do decide to give this book a chance, a read-through is well worth it!

t
tedrich2921
Mar 22, 2015

I thought Tizon was a bit obsessed and perhaps overly sensitive about his perceived thoughts non-Asians have about Asian-Americans. However, I came to realize this was because it was just one of those things that I had never thought about. We commonly think about prejudices against blacks, Jews, and other groups, but not about Asians. However, many of the points that Tizon makes are thought provoking and obviously true. What was most interesting to me is that he delves into the insecurities that Asian men face, which is quite different than the perception of Asian women. None the less, I do think he has a tendency to blame some of his issues on the fact that he is of Asian descent, rather than just because he is who he is. Overall, I would give this book a 3.5 on a scale of 1 to 5.

r
readingthewater
Oct 20, 2014

Deftly written and sometimes cringingly honest, Tizon's Big Little Man is a window into an immigrant's experience, an Asian experience and a man's growth into self acceptance. It's a work we all do, for some the work is more fraught than for others, Worth reading for it's insights. Made me think.

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