Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Goong Hay Fot Choy

Dear Readers,

Well, Chinese New Year is coming this weekend. Happy Year of the Rooster!  The perfect book for the occasion is Frank Chin's Donald Duk. Read Chin's novel and learn how Chinese celebrate the Lunar New Year. Best-selling author Tom Robbins called Donald Duk "red hot chop suey laced with laughing powder and amphetamines - makes most so-called ‘modern’ writing look old-fashioned, chauvinistic, and tedious."

A brief book description:
As twelve-year-old Donald Duk burns 108 model airplanes in mid-flight to celebrate the Chinese New Year, Frank Chin torches stereotypes of Asian-Americans.

Welcome to Chinatown, Chinese New Year in San Francisco. The day of the dog. The day of the thief. Everybody’s birthday. The lantern festival of the fifteenth day. Welcome home. Crashing Cantonese opera, dancing lions, comic book heroes, and a childhood among partying pagans . . . . Little Donald Duk is a twelve-year-old kid with everything, including a name he doesn’t like and a family who doesn’t deserve him. As he completes his first turn around the Chinese zodiac’s cycle of twelve animals, the Mandate of Heaven turns; he takes flight and dreams himself a home.

As this novel opens, Donald Duk would rather be Fred Astaire than the son of a Chinatown restauranteur. Through the course of this robust, vigorous work, Donald learns to see himself more clearly as he, and we, see his culture free of distortive stereotypes.

Here's Chin reading the first chapter of Donald Duk:

Another one of Frank's works that takes place during Chinese New Year is his play Year of the Dragon.

(Frank Chin and Kathleen Change in a production of Year of the Dragon in 1978; photo by Nancy Wong)

There was a TV Movie based on Year of the Dragon.  It actually starred George Takei in the strongest performance of his career IMO. He called it "one of the most thoroughly satisfying, fulfilling role that I've had as an actor."

Enjoy and have a happy new year!


P. S.  Oh... before I forget.  Frank Chin's Amazon site is now active!  Check it out: amazon.com/author/frank.chin

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