Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Yellow: Stories

Yellow: Stories
Don Lee
ISBN 0393323080

Yellow is Don Lee's brilliant collection of stories, many of them set in the fictional town of Rosarita Bay. Peopled with several Asian-American characters who appear in more than one story, they each share a similar experience: handling the prejudice that accompanies being "yellow," in addition to their own insecurities. In the clever, mysterious story "The Price of Eggs in China," we meet the "Oriental Hair Poets," two fiercely competitive women who vie not only over their poetry but for the affections of a master chair maker who doesn't quite know what to make of them. A Korean-American woman comes to town to visit her sister in "The Lone Night Cantina," but fresh from a breakup, realizes she'd been spending time with someone she didn't really love rather than face the possibility of hurt and solitude. The title character in "The Possible Husband" is an investment analyst who made a fortune and retired young to pursue surfing full-time and his latest fancy, serial monogamy. He's "looking for the perfect woman, just like [he's] looking for the perfect wave." And in the title novella, "Yellow," readers follow Danny Kim from his childhood to his climb up the corporate ladder to a marriage with a woman for whom he feels little passion but with whom he feels safe. In each of his stories, Don Lee's writing is fresh, with sharply defined characters and a dark, biting sense of humor. (Spring 2001 Selection)

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