October 2018: How to American: An Immigrant's Guide to Disappointing Your Parents


Guiding Questions

  1. What is the line between migration trauma and healthy comedy?

  2. What reinforces or breaks down “bluntness” as families assimilate? Is it a marker?

  3. Do you ask immigrants what shocked them when they arrived in the US? If so, what answers do you receive? If not, why?

  4. Is the fear of failing into homelessness a byproduct of migration or Jimmy’s family’s expectations from China?

  5. Black culture is seen as the less alien American culture, but Jimmy doesn’t touch on his family’s reactions to blackness or his other friends from immigrant communities. Do you hear comments from your family or family friends about non-white and non-community folks?

  6. Jimmy writes about his lack of sexual or intimate relationships. What does his adventures with “trying to get laid” make you feel about sexuality and Asian American-ness?

  7. Representation matters. We hear this frequently, but primarily about visual arts. What other spheres do you think AsAm representation is lacking? Are AsAm underrepresented in your field?

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