How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents

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Jimmy O. Yang’s memoir How to American: An Immigrant’s Guide to Disappointing Your Parents is a humorous recollection of him growing up as a Chinese-American and pursuing the American Dream. Yang, who is a stand-up comedian and actor on the HBO series Silicon Valley wanted to be a comic at an early age. The problem was, his family was against it. In many East Asian cultures, parents place high expectations on children. They expect them to get straight A’s in school, and even an A-minus is considered extremely shameful and a reflection of the parents’ failure in the kids’ upbringing. They also expect their kids to become doctors, engineers, or lawyers as they see these professions highly esteemed. Yang, who immigrated at 13 from Hong Kong with his family, rebelled against their wishes to become a doctor. He writes about how he learned English from watching rap music videos for hours on end. He also writes about his difficulties in adjusting to American culture while keeping his native Chinese one. Being a comedian, he naturally tells his story in a hilarious way, with self-deprecating humor being the norm of the book. Ultimately, he draws upon his experiences and concludes the book with lessons he learned in order to achieve the American Dream.

Reviewed By:

Author Jimmy O. Yang • Mike Judge, Foreword
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 240 pages
Publisher Da Capo Press
Publish Date 2018-Mar-13
ISBN 9780306903496
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue June 2018
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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