Don Lee (author)
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Don Lee (born 1971) is a Korean-American novelist, fiction writer, literary journal editor, and professor.
- I think most Asian American writers, especially younger ones, are tired of the standard stories about discrimination and assimilation, or those set in the ancient hinterlands of our countries of ethnic origin. Those stories are no longer pertinent or urgent to most of us. Although we have not yet entered into a post-racial era, and although bigotry still rages on, it’s not something that people want to explore or dramatize in every single book or story…
- On the struggles of being an Asian American writer in “‘I Took It As a Dare,’ An Interview with Don Lee” in Superstition Review
- A lot of this had to do with resenting the suggestion when I was starting out as a writer that I should write about the Asian American experience and have Asian American characters. I thought the suggestion was, in and of itself, racist, that I was being told I shouldn’t step out of the ethnic literature box, that I should know my place. But I didn’t want to be labeled as an ethnic writer, and I wasn’t interested in writing about being an immigrant or setting stories in Old Asia. I had no connections to those stories. They weren’t my stories. So essentially my reaction to those suggestions was, Fuck you…
- On not writing about Asian American characters initially in “‘I Took It As a Dare,’ An Interview with Don Lee” in Superstition Review
- I’d like to see us get to the point where Asian American authors can have Asian American characters and a big deal isn’t made about it, or at least so it’s not the first thing mentioned…
- On what he hopes for the future of Asian American writers in “Don Lee: The Ethnic Literature Box” in Guernica Magazine (2012 Jun 25)
- I feel queasy about the idea of having non-Asians taking center stage in one of my books. I would feel guilty about it, as if I were trying to deny my ethnic heritage, even though this is precisely what I am suggesting we should be free to do.
- On the writing dilemmas that he faces in “Don Lee: The Ethnic Literature Box” in Guernica Magazine (2012 Jun 25)