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Gretchen Yee in Fly on the Wall

May 11, 2007

I’ve enjoyed books written by E. Lockhart such as The Boyfriend List and Fly on the Wall.  Trisha and I really dug that Gretchen Kaufman Yee was cool with being half Chinese.  I especially like that Gretchen collects beancurd babies–that sounds like something someone I know would do. 

We probably haven’t done Fly on the Wall justice with this post so you’ll have to read the book.  I also enjoy reading E. Lockhart’s blog so you might want to peruse there too.

Gayle: Did her Asian-ness really matter though? I totally forgot she was Asian in the course of the book
Trisha: No, but that’s one of the things I liked.  It wasn’t a big deal.
Jolene: Sorry, I haven’t read the book, what’s it about?
Trisha: A girl who becomes a fly on the wall of the boys locker room at school for a week. There’s also an Asian-American guy in the book.  One of the minor characters.
Jolene: How does her Asian-Americaness show through in the book? Are there sterotypes?
Trisha: Nope.  She’s hapa, and I don’t remember race ever being a big deal in the book.
Gayle: Yeah, it wasn’t a big deal. She just so happened to be hapa.
Jolene: Maybe we should define Hapa=Hawaiian slang for half races. Like the Japanese slang for “Hafu.”
Gayle: Hapa pretty much means of mixed race, so you can be hapa-haole (half-white) or hapa in general just means mult-racial.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jolene permalink*
    May 11, 2007 4:45 pm

    I need to read one of her books! I just checked my shelves and both of her books, “The Boyfriend List” and “The Boy Book” are missing from shelf.(One with 5 checkouts the other with zero.) They must be really good books for teens to want to even steal it, let alone read it. Hey we should make a list of teen titles often stolen from our shelves!

  2. Jolene permalink*
    May 25, 2007 1:49 pm

    I finally read it, and loved it! I just love how she modernized the “Metamorphosis” by Kafka. Perhaps, Gretchen was comfortable with being Asian because she lived in N.Y. where it’s accepted to be multi-cultural and different. This was apparent in the artsy fartsy school where she attended,in which the word “ordinary” was a dirty word. Also another interesting switch was that the Asian/Jock Adrian was a bigot, who constantly ragged on homosexuals.

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