Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Pittsburgh City-Paper profiles author and University of Pittsburgh professor Robert Yune.

The Pittsburgh City-Paper published a profile in today's edition of author and University of Pittsburgh professor Robert Yune, whose first novel, Eighty Days of Sunlight, was published in June. An excerpt:
The book is especially notable for its particularized and distinctive portrait of Asian Americans. Yune never wanted to write about racism, racial identity or the immigrant experience, because, well, that's been done. But at the least, Eighty Days of Sunlight (titled for Pittsburgh's supposed annual solar exposure) is an unusual take on those matters. Yune notes, for instance, that working-class Asian-American life is usually referenced only as backstory — not depicted in the firsthand way of Jason's often stupefied workaholic father, or of Jason finding a strange pride in taking his father's place in a hot, grimy, noisy factory. Nor, in a national literature replete with immigrants "making it," do we see often such strivers fail.

Likewise atypical are Jason and Tommy, contentious young screw-ups who'd fit no one's typed ideas of Asian Americans. "When I got to know the characters, they didn't seem to be ... the model minority," says Yune. "A lot of times when we see people who don't fit the stereotypes, we forget about them."
More about the author on his official website.