Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Shaun Tan's The Arrival, Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese topics of Graphic Novel Book Club at Carnegie Library Woods Run, June 29.

The Graphic Novel Book Club at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Woods Run branch will discuss two books on the immigrant experience on June 29: Shaun Tan's Arrival and Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese. Tan summarizes The Arrival on his official site:
The Arrival is a migrant story told as a series of wordless images that might seem to come from a long forgotten time. A man leaves his wife and child in an impoverished town, seeking better prospects in an unknown country on the other side of a vast ocean. He eventually finds himself in a bewildering city of foreign customs, peculiar animals, curious floating objects and indecipherable languages. With nothing more than a suitcase and a handful of currency, the immigrant must find a place to live, food to eat and some kind of gainful employment. He is helped along the way by sympathetic strangers, each carrying their own unspoken history: stories of struggle and survival in a world of incomprehensible violence, upheaval and hope.
Here is an excerpt from a 2016 PBS NewsHour interview in which Yang discusses the characters in and inspiration behind American Born Chinese:
For about five years, I had done a few stories with Asian American protagonists, but their cultural heritage never played an important part of the story. I knew I wanted to do some kind of story where that was the focus, because my own cultural heritage played such an important part in how I find my place in the world.

For “American Born Chinese,” I really wanted to tackle stereotypes head on. I just think it’s more powerful when you do it visually. Like, if I were to describe the Cousin Chin-Kee character to you in text, I don’t think it would have the same sort of emotional impact as seeing him on the page.
The meeting runs from 6:30 to 7:30 pm at 1201 Woods Run Ave. (map) and is free and open to the public.