Delightful and cringe-y, refreshing and painful. These are just some of the various emotions I felt during the 45-60 minute read to finish. Weaving Sun Wukong’s “Journey to the West” (or “Monkey King”) along with Yang’s fictional, but very relatable, Jin Wang, Yang was able to link some of Asian Americans’ hilarious yet embarrassing insecurities with epic (as in the literary genre) nobility. The racism Asians in America face are much more subtle and mocking in tone, but hurtful nonetheless. Microaggressions ramp us up against corners in silence. Yet, the significant overlaps between the Monkey King’s life and Jin Wang’s impress an empowering and goofy sense of dignity: never forget who you are. Who knew transformers could be such a powerful illustration?
Favorite quote: “I was forbidden to date until I had at least a Master’s degree” (163). Spent a good 30 second laughing a hearty laugh.