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I Love Yous Are for White People: A Memoir Paperback – May 12, 2009
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About the Author
Lac Su received a master's degree and Ph.D., A.B.D., in industrial-organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. He is vice president of marketing for TalentSmart, a global think tank and management consulting firm, and he lives in San Diego with his wife and three kids.
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Top Customer Reviews
Beginning with his family's harrowing escape from Communist Vietnam amidst a backdrop of gunfire and grenade explosion into an ill-equipped fishing boat that nearly sinks under heavy Pacific storms, the story truly begins with a bang. After being rescued at the very last moment by a reluctant Hong Kong military crew, Su and his family eventually make their way to the "Promiseland" in the ghettos of L.A.
With just the right amount of description--never revealing too much to put the reader at an all-knowing distance, nor too little to prevent you from truly feeling what Su felt in each moment--the writing made me feel as though I was the author's shadow. I saw what he saw and experienced what he experienced--from his adolescent stealing and subsequent selling of his parent's food stamps in order to feed a bullying peer's video game habit in the desperate hope of being accepted, all the way to the cold feeling of a gun barrel jammed into my cheek.
Perhaps the most interesting character is Su's father. He is a dejected shell of a man struggling with the loss of his position as a respect-commanding figure in Vietnam to a veritable Nobody in the U.S. Not knowing the language or the customs and without any formal education (he himself was orphaned and left to fend for himself as a hustler on the streets of Da Nang as an adolescent), he desperately clings to his dignity as we slowly and tragically watch it slip away.Read more ›
Some of the most heart-breaking passages involve the great violence that Lac Su's own father inflicts upon his son (and Lac's mother). Sufferers of domestic violence will find that Lac Su's memoir helps to give them a voice. (Also Lac is very honest about the sexual abuse he suffers due to a cousin.) However, the father is no two-dimensional boogeyman. Lac shows why he still loves his father, always loved his father--a man who worked hard for his family but did not understand how to express his frustrations at life and its obstacles except through violence.
The subject matter might make the book seem depressing, but in fact the plot moves along quickly and the tone is not at all self pitying. The author's empathy, ability to draw distinct portraits with his prose, and his basic humanity shine through.
"I love yous" is very close to that.
I read "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom" recently and someone recommended this book to me. After finishing it I am still not sure why. This is not the same kind of book as "Tiger Mom" at all.
How is it not "Tiger Mom"?
The similarity is that both books are about immigrant parents using certain parenting techniques, wanting their children to be successful.
The parent in "Tiger Mom" (Amy Chua) is a second-generation immigrant. She and her husband are Yale professors. Her dad (first gen immigrant) is also PhD educated and is a professor at Purdue (or similar). Her idea of success is like performing at Carnegie Hall when 14 or training with world-class violinist. She spends HOURS and HOURS each day personally coaching her children. And OK her parenting techniques (verbal abuse, no playdate, hours of practices) perhaps may likely be frowned-upon by western parents.
The parent in "I love yous" (Lac Su's dad) is a refugee who identifies himself as "boat people". He has no formal education, doesn't know English, is on disability and depressed. His idea of success is to go to ANY college, to perhaps own apartments to rent, and maybe, if you are really super-smart, to become a doctor. His parenting techniques are almost definitely not approved by humanity.
Pages after pages things keep happening to little Lac. Each chapter begins with adorable pictures of Lac or his sister. Then the text hits you with various kinds of unfortunate and terribly awful things.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I just needed this book for a class, but it's an interesting book so far! Everything is as described and it's perfect! Thank you so much!Published 1 month ago by Trisha
I'm torn between 3 and 4 stars for this book but I can safely say it's a solid 3.5. What I appreciate is its rawness and it's honesty in the author talking about his life and the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Alyssa
This book is amazing!!!!!. I would recommend everyone to read "I love you'd are for white people". Read morePublished 2 months ago by William Perez
One of the greatest biographies I've ever read. I actually bought it for a friend of mine that emigrated from Africa. I loved every page of this book. Read morePublished 10 months ago by N. Omar