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Posted on Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:52 a.m.

Reading light summer romance without Asians, Asian Americans, or people of color

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang


My daughter's library books for this week. | photograph Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

While looking for light reading material for a recent airplane ride, I grabbed a pink book with a naked male torso that I vaguely recalled picking up at the King School Book Fair for 50 cents. I read the back cover, I read the first page, I randomly flipped through the book, and I could conjure up no memory of actually having read the book, so I stuck it into my carry-on, well within my 22-pound limit.

Although I usually prefer writers like Richard Rodriguez and Andrew Lam, not to mention Literature with a capital L, it’s summer, it’s an airplane, and I want something light and easy and with a happy ending. I have an equally embarrassing secret weakness for watching bad romantic comedies on the plane this time of year, too.

(I was sorely disappointed to realize at 35,000 feet that I had indeed read this book before, but it was so terrible that I could not remember how it turned out, so I had to read it all the way to the end a second painful time).

Summer is the season for light romantic comedies, and because there typically are no Asians cast or written into these stories, I can, ironically, go “off-duty” regarding race and culture for a moment and indulge myself in the great American illusion that the white experience is “universal.” It can actually be extra-hurtful to accidentally encounter an "Asian" character (like Mickey Rooney's character in "Breakfast at Tiffany's") when I am in this mode because I thought I was safe.

When one of my daughters was recently criticized for the sexy content in the Japanese manga she read, her response was, “Have you seen the romance section at Borders lately?”

Unable to resist a challenge (hereditary?), she started reading bad romance novels with a vengeance — historical romances set in mid to late 1800s England with titles like, “Love is in the Heir,” “Taming of the Duke,” “Sin and Sensibility,” “Just one of those Flings,” “The Naked Viscount,” “The Naked Marquis,” “The Naked Earl,” etc. She has huge stacks of these books standing guard around her bed, and she plows through them at torrential speed, all the while complaining about their poor comma usage and bad grammar mistakes.

Sometimes I sit on her bed and flip through them, and I am shocked at how risque these books are. I never read anything so dirty in my entire life. Even while my breathing quickens and my bosom begins heaving, I groan to think how much time women spend trying to unlearn these fairy tale fantasies, and here she is filling up her brain with all the worst romantic illusions at such an impressionable age. (Update: Oh no! In a recent academic journal, romance novels are now blamed for women's relationship problems; they are said to be as addictive for women as pornography is for men. Now they tell me #romancekills.)

I bemoan all those years I read her empowering stories of powerful and active girls — able to tame the dragon, save the kingdom and rescue the prince. I wonder about all that time we spent searching for smart and spunky Asian American heroines like herself.

And yet, my children have learned how to read and interpret even the most bizarre characterizations. They show me the Asian and Asian American characters in “Grapes of Wrath” and “Catcher in the Rye” that I never noticed when I was in high school. When I show them Neelanjana Banerjee's review of Jonathan Franzen’s heralded Great American Novel, “Freedom,” criticizing his portrayal of an Indian American woman character, they understand.

At the Ann Arbor Book Festival last month, the incredible Laura Pershin Raynor and the Family Learning Institute received awards for being “Leaders in the Literary Arts.” Pioneer High School teacher Jeff Kass said that there was no one citizen more important in our city than Laura Pershin Raynor, librarian and storyteller extraordinaire who teaches our children to love stories and the importance of storytelling. Thanks, Laura.

This article has been updated with a photo and to correct a typo.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Michigan and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is an editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for, a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog, and a contributor for Chicago is the World. She is on the Advisory Board of American Citizens for Justice. She team-teaches "Asian Pacific American History and the Law" at University of Michigan and University of Michigan Dearborn. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at, her blog at, and she can be reached at


Stacy Whitman

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 10:28 p.m.

Young adult books (which are appealing to many adult readers) are getting more and more diverse. Check out the Diversity in YA Summer Reading Challenge if you haven't seen it yet. Spearheaded by Malinda Lo and Cindy Pon as part of their Diversity in YA project (check out their blog also for more book suggestions), the idea is to get readers and librarians thinking about diversity in the books they read. They're up past 50 books that will go to the prize-winning reader who wins the challenge. <a href="http://www.diversityinya.c" rel='nofollow'>http://www.diversityinya.c</a>?om/challenge/ I'm not as familiar with romance, but we're working on it in YA. Stacy Whitman Editorial Director, Tu Books <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 6:31 a.m.

@gracelynch and @mamazilla thx for the links, will check them out. @jakec yes! you hit it on the head exactly!


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

not really light summer romance... more like paranormal YA w/ some romance thrown in... author cassandra clare writes two series with asian/mixed race characters... the mortal instrument series (magnus and maia - mixed race) and the infernal devices series (jem - also mixed). i just read an ok review of pj converse's subway girl - i want to check that out... also, i always check diversity in YA blog for recs of new books. also, not so light (shades of erotica) summer reading - the most recent books of jacqueline carey's kushiel series - moirin's trilogy - features asian characters and interracial romance.

Grace Lynch

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.

Thanks for bringing up this subject, Frances. I think about this a lot for my kids, in terms of finding books in which not everybody is white and/or living in England! This summer I started posting a summer reading series featuring Hapa characters: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> I've heard a lot of similar experiences about getting published as an Asian American writing about Asian Americans, especially if the stories don't fit the mold popular culture has come to expect. For some light Asian American romance reading, a friend recommended Camy Tang (I haven't checked it out yet): <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> And all these books are not just for Asians -- they're for everybody. Good storytelling is universal... and people of other cultures can take something away from Asian stories, as well.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 4:37 p.m.

@haejee thanks for sharing your experience, you are not alone. You show why the stories told and how different groups are depicted in the mainstream matter. They affect not only how we see ourselves but how we are seen by others. With the internet, we now have access to much more Asian American and multicultural content being created independently, but mainstream publishing and movie industry is slower to believe.

Craig Lounsbury

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:56 p.m.

&quot;All I wanted to write about was wanting a good book or a good movie that does not offend with gross caricatures, to show what is commonly accepted does not always look the same from a different perspective. ' fair enough but the only movie you referenced was from 1961. and when you state ...&quot;indulge myself in the great American illusion that the white experience is "universal." it's insulting to many of us Americans who don't exactly think that way. How would you feel if I pulled some inflammatory quote from Chairman Mao who ruled China with an iron fist for some 15 years after Mickey Rooney played is unfortunate roll and claim i was &quot;indulge myself in the great Chinese illusion that the communist experience needs to be exported to the world&quot;?

Jake C

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 2:53 a.m.

You seem to be missing the point that the writer was trying to make. She could have referenced hundreds of other movies, but this is a newspaper-style article, not a 500-page thesis paper (and I guarantee you that many 500-page thesis papers have been written on this subject). When a character is given a generic name or no specific physical features, the majority of readers (in America at least) visualize them as white males by default. Why is this? Is it because most people in America are white males? That's certainly not true... So what else is going on? On the other hand, when a reader of a different ethnicity is reading such a story, they may be able to imagine (for a short while) that the lead character may be just like them until the author describes the character's &quot;pale alabaster skin&quot; or &quot;piercing blue eyes&quot;. The whole point is that people across cultures don't tend to behave all that differently. They have the same motivations, loves, and fears. But when nearly all portrays of Asians in American culture (whether it be TV, books, or movies) are reduced to a few generic caricatures , that's when things get offensive to some. How would you feel if you lived in China and the only portrayals of White American Males in local movies were of money-grubbing Capitalists, or Homer Simpson? Just dwell on that for a bit...


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 3:31 p.m.

Thanks Frances for writing an article I can relate to. You may not have a large audience that can understand, but growing up in the 70's and 80's as an Asian American, I understand the point you are making. As a Korean adoptee, I am VERY embarrassed to admit that I wasn't even aware until my late teens that there were other Asian people in this country. I grew up in a very small town that was majority white (99.9%). The only time I saw Asian people on television was karate type movies that looked like they were placed overseas (that explained why all the boys use to tease me about karate). When I read your column, it made me think of two different things: 1) how Asian's are depicted in stories and 2) how Asian Americans are rarely a characters in stories. As another poster touched on, I think your observation brings attention to encouraging American Asians to write more. Personally, I would just like to see an Asian character be a leading role, without doing karate moves, being the nerd, playing a string instrument, etc

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 8:27 a.m.

@shiny, @anilec, @mlchai, @gwynneo and many others who have emailed and facebooked private responses--thanks for sharing your lives and your experience! @braggslaw Generally speaking, Wikipedia is not the most reliable source. If you look at the census data cited, it does not show what the summary quoted says it shows. Grouping all the educational levels together skews the data. If you hold education constant, non-Hispanic Caucasians generally outearn Asian Americans with the same education level. Futhermore, breaking the data down by specific ethnic group shows even more drastic disparities. But this is neither here nor there. All I wanted to write about was wanting a good book or a good movie that does not offend with gross caricatures, to show what is commonly accepted does not always look the same from a different perspective. As you said, &quot;That is what is great about this country, we can engage in discourse.&quot; Thanks for your thoughts. @fredmax--thanks for the list. once i got past the porn and erotica (&quot;Barely Legal Babysitters: Asian Sensation&quot; Ah! My eyes! :) and found the right list, I shared it with my daughter as a resource. However, the list does not differentiate between Asian and Asian American (or Asian British etc), these heroines are most often paired with Caucasian heroes (finding an Asian or Asian American hero is much much harder), and although 29 books is a great start, it is not a whole lot when you consider that 9089 new romance novels were published in 2009 alone. My daughter could read those 29 books in two weeks and then what? Luckily she knows how to interpret whatever literature she reads, which was actually my point.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 12:38 p.m.

Attacking wikipedia is not a valid response. Cite the U.S. census page. &quot;Neither here nor there&quot;...If people want to make race a huge issue (an benefit from it financially) you need to deal with those of us who want to minimize racial differences and homologate Americans. If you break down Caucasians (or any other race for that matter) you can skew data any way you want. Downriver white males make less than Asians in Ann Arbor. Cross-eyed caucasians living in Jackson make less than African Americans in Grosse Point etc. etc.


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:32 a.m. &quot;asian romance novels; 45,000 hits. Check the second hit; a list of 29 &quot;Romance novels with Asian heroines&quot;. Let me know if I misunderstood the issue here?


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 1:46 a.m.

I'm really glad you wrote about this subject, Frances. Often we discount the role that popular culture plays in shaping our attitudes about ourselves and others. Universities used to study only so-called &quot;high culture&quot; yet it's the pop culture that most people at any given time are most familiar with: blockbuster movies, genre books (like romance novels), comic books, etc. Yet precisely because they reach so many people, these kinds of works influence how we see the world. High time we time we gave some thought to these influences! <a href=""></a>

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:39 p.m.

@braggslaw--It is not true that Asian Americans have the highest per capita income. They have the highest HOUSEHOLD income, but that is achieved with larger households with more people contributing and higher education levels. Asian Americans have lower per capita income than whites with higher education levels, and are more likely to live in poverty. Those numbers are also deceptive when you break the data down further by ethnic groups. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 12:10 a.m.

There is plent of data out there: Like most stereotypes, there is a grain of truth about the model minority stereotype. Those who ascribe to the model minority stereotype about Asian Americans cite statistics such as the fact that Asian Americans have higher rates of educational attainment than the White Americans. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, 50.9% of Asian American men over the age of 25 compared to 31.7% of non-Hispanic White American men over age 25 have a Bachelor's degree or higher, and 43.8% of Asian American women over age 25 compared to 27.3% of non-Hispanic White American women over the age of 25 have a Bachelor's degree or higher (Reeves &amp; Bennett, 2003). In addition, the 2000 U.S. Census reports that Asian Americans have a higher family income than other Americans, including non-Hispanic White Americans Personal income varied significantly with an individual's racial characteristics with racial discrepancies having remained largely stagnant since 1996. Overall Asian Americans enjoyed higher median personal incomes than any other racial demographic.[14] The only exception was among the holders of graduate degrees who consititute 8.9% of the population. Among those with a Master's, Professional or Doctorate degree those who identified as White had the highest median individual income. Asian Americans had a median income roughly ten percent higher than that of Whites. This racial income gap was relatively small.[14][15] I guess if you want to find discrimination you will find it. I think you are splitting hairs. But I guess you have to make a living.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:21 p.m.

@craiglounsbury--Statistically, there are many more books about boys than girls as the main character, and many more movies with white male leads than white women or people of color. This shapes how people see themselves and each other. Books are big business and publishers do not want to take risks. They are the ones who think that mainstream audiences can only identify with white characters, and so they function as gatekeepers to what gets published or not. Chinese American writer Tess Gerritsen was told by editors that no one buys books with Asian American heroes and heroines and so she has become a bestselling author by writing only about white main characters. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> It is not just purchasing power, it is also the perception of purchasing power. I think publishers and moviemakers underestimate their audience, that audiences would purchase books and see movies by and about people of color if they were available. There is more literature readily available about how the movie industry does this at <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>. As an aside, the movie &quot;Falling for Grace&quot; is also a hearttouching story about a filmmaker who was told her script could only be made if she changed the race of the main character who then went on to finance and make the film herself <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> (available at And the epic fail of the whitewashed movie, &quot;Avatar The Last Airbender.&quot; <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:54 p.m.

Why is it that the people involved in the &quot;Diversity Industry&quot; are the most intolerant of all people?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 10:13 p.m.

There are bigger problems in the world than a 1960 movie with a caricature or a lack of Asian people in Harlequin Romances. That is what is great about this country, we can engage in discourse. If people choose to get wound up about unimportant events, I can choose to give my opinion. Asians have the highest per capita income of any group in the U.S. so cry me a river.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 9:50 p.m.

please, oh please: define &quot;diversity&quot; and &quot;intolerance&quot; and &quot;industry&quot;. when i lived in ann arbor, people lauded its diversity. yet, we moved because it wasn't quite diverse enough. it's all about perspective. to the member of a majority group, diversity is evident in one or two non-majority people in any context. but to the member of a minority group, well...we're still in the minority; and hence, diverse=deviant. what seems very benign at the surface may not be so for people unlike yourself. for example, during a casual lunchtime discussion about &quot;classic&quot; films among 10+ co-workers, i was the only one who hadn't seen Casablanca and exalted The Five Heartbeats. did i fault my friends? of course not; but still, my own difference was what became salient. how is this intolerance? I don't see how Ms. Wang's views are intolerant. Members of minority groups would not survive if we were &quot;intolerant&quot;. That we choose not to mute ourselves when we have been offended--that is intolerance? And once again, that is precisely the problem: to &quot;tolerate&quot; is to accept something we dislike or disapprove of. So sorry for any white folks who must &quot;tolerate&quot; all us pesky minorities.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:32 p.m.

Thanks for your relentless effort to inform the national discourse on race and culture, Frances. Please, I understand that you must sometimes go &quot;off-duty&quot; just to maintain your sanity; but for the sake of our nation, I hope you can keep those escapades to a minimum. To all of those who have commented here about children's literature being race-neutral, I urge you to at least try to take a different perspective. By race-neutral, you really mean &quot;white&quot;--since that's what race the protagonists are. That in itself is a form of racism, since it recognizes whiteness as the norm; any other &quot;race&quot; is deviant by default from this perspective. Just because race is not explicit in a text or any other type of narrative (such as film), that does not mean it does not factor into the story or its effects on an audience. Read up on cross-cultural phenomena--in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and even marketing studies--and you will quickly see that what Americans view as universal often is not universal at all, but instead is culturally contextualized. When any of you read/watch an Asian-American, Latino/a, African-American or other book/film where the protagonist and almost if not all the other characters are non-white, but the themes are not explicitly focused on race, do you truly identify with these characters? Even if the themes are something we can relate to, often there are culturally-based nuances that highlight our difference. Moreover, when the characters don't look like you or the people in your life, well...the text-to-life connections just aren't completely seamless. And yes, if you went to China, most of the literature would not feature American protagonists. But that is the point: America is a multicultural and multi-&quot;racial&quot; nation. E Pluribus Unum. We didn't all melt into whiteness.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:28 p.m.

While collecting Sheikh romances for a library special collection on Orientalism I came across a book that featured the titular Sheikh and the heroine was a Korean American! I was shocked as all get out since the standard heroine in not only Sheikh romances but ALL of romance is the Single White Female. Of course that is the only instance that I have found thus far but it was pretty interesting anyway.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:11 p.m.

@CraigLounsbury: Mainstream publishing houses will not publish romance novels (or detective mysteries) with Asian American characters, hence the work of successful Asian American writers in these genres, like Sherry Thomas, Julie Kagawa, Tess Gerritsen, do not have Asian or Asian American characters. (and thanks for the &quot;at&quot;) @braggslaw: I wish I could go &quot;off duty&quot; more. When there are no Asian or Asian American characters involved, I can pretend that a book or movie is &quot;race-neutral,&quot; but when badly stereotyped Asian and Asian American characters pop up unexpectedly, I am shown all too clearly how we are seen by society--comic relief, evil villains, sexy dragonladies, sexless houseboys, faceless hoardes, nerdy model minority, etc.--and these stereotypes are perpetuated again and unfortunately do affect how we are treated in real life (as well as how we learn to see ourselves). Asian Americans already know this. I am trying to show the mainstream how things look from this other perspective.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 9:11 p.m.

you are over-selling and making a mountain out of a mole-hill

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 7:49 p.m.

&quot;Mainstream publishing houses will not publish romance novels (or detective mysteries) with Asian American characters,&quot; Why not? Do you see this as a &quot;conspiracy&quot; of sorts as in racism/ethnocentrism/bigotry? Or is it a dollars and cents issue as in not enough demand? If its a lack of demand I suppose thats more on the &quot;white readers&quot; than the publishers. I do not read these novels and i am completely uninformed how the industry works. but am always ready to learn something new. If read one of these books do the authors tend to make it pretty clear i am reading about &quot;white people&quot;?

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:53 p.m.

from <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>: On Thursday August 11th, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy with the sponsorship of the SYFY Channel plans to screen &quot;Breakfast at Tiffany's&quot; free for the public. This 1961 film features a blatantly-racist, minstrel-show, buck-toothed portrayal of a Japanese American, played by Mickey Rooney which has for decades offended the Asian-American community and its allies. Please boycott this film, the SyFy Movies with a View series, and let people know that despite direct communication from the NY Asian American community, the BBPC is committed to showing this horribly offensive film, which it calls a &quot;beloved&quot; &quot;American classic&quot;. The film series is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In 2008, a similar public outdoor screening was successfully aborted by the city of Sacramento in response to protests over the yellowface Mr. Yunioshi caricature. The controversy over Mickey Rooney's bumbling portrayal is not new, and the BBPC and SyFy should be aware of the impact of putting this offensive portrait on the big screen. Why any publicly funded organization in a city where 1-in-8 residents are Asian-American or any channel with a huge Asian-American viewership would choose to show a film with a racist caricature like this is beyond me. It's not funny; It's not classic; It's not beloved to us. By screening this film, the organizers are sanctioning the racism it contains, and subjecting new audiences (including children and Asian-Americans) to a minstrel show of racist ideology. It's 2011. It's New York. Do we still have to fight the hostile, hurtful world of 1961 Hollywood?


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:52 p.m.

Let's ban every stereotype that offends everyone... I am offended by Big Bang Theory and its portrayal of geeks. Open your mind... or at least show a little tolerance..

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

The issue with the Breakfast with Tiffany's boycott in New York is that public funds are being used to expose new audiences (children, young people, newer immigrants) to old racist imagery without comment, especially bad in a city that is 1/8 Asian American. My point is simply that &quot;beloved American classics&quot; are not necessarily beloved by all. from <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>: &gt;

Jake C

Tue, Jul 12, 2011 : 2:35 a.m.

@bunnyabbot: Except the whole &quot;public funds&quot; thing kind makes that hard to do. If you don't like the war your tax dollars are paying for, should you just not watch it on tv? If you don't like a new health care law, should you just not pay attention to it? Kind of a silly argument, even if you don't put it that way...


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:25 p.m.

then don't watch them


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:26 p.m.

I recently watched &quot;Breakfast at Tiffanys&quot; for the first time. I am 62 but my family wasn't into movies. Anyway, I was horribly offended by the Mickey Rooney character. That movie was made in 1961!


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 4:26 p.m.

Indeed it is a painful reading. Romantic ideas, thoughts, and imagination is universal in nature and shared and experienced by people of all cultures, races, and skin color. The reader tends to identify himself/herself with the fictional character of the story and experiences the emotions expressed by that character. If the character is sexually aroused, the reader shares the same arousal and experiences that state of arousal both mentally, and physically. The skin color, the race, and the geographical location are of no particular consequence and I call it the power of &quot;Romance&quot;.

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

It seems to me the solution to the problem is Asian-American's writing romance novel's from their perspective. We shouldn't think a Caucasian romance novel writer can do justice to an Asian character any more than Mickey Rooney could on the screen.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 8:24 p.m.

if they did someone would complain about that too.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 1:27 p.m.

My bad... Mickey is 90 years old. I assumed he was dead after Pete's Dragon flopped.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:53 p.m.

Off topic, I know, but Mickey Rooney is still alive. So easy to get facts wrong and post them on

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 2:31 p.m.

and so hard to correct as only management has an &quot;edit button&quot;

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.

I've never been to China and at my age never will, but if I did and walked in to a bookstore what would I find?


Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 2:19 p.m.

The difference is that the U.S. is made up of MANY ethncities......

Craig Lounsbury

Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:21 p.m.

&quot;It can actually be extra-hurtful to accidentally encounter an &quot;Asian&quot; character (like Mickey Rooney's character in &quot;Breakfast with Tiffany's&quot;)....&quot; Its breakfast AT Tiffany's&quot;. and to add to braggslaws &quot;Mickey Rooney is dead&quot; comment I think most of the cast is dead.

Gwynne O.

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 6:19 a.m.

The problem is that even though most of the cast is dead, movies live on and on. We still see this stereotype over and over again. The problem with Mr. Rooney's portrayal of a Japanese man was that it was not only a caricature of a generic Asian person, but also mean spirited. It was written to the residual anger many in the American public felt towards the Japanese from WWII, which ended just 16 years before. I know that seems like a long time, but a lot of American still felt the sting of the war. I am of Japanese ancestry and as a child I wondered if that is how people saw me and my family when I saw Breakfast at Tiffany's. It was rather embarrassing to realize that mean buffoon on the film was how some people looked at Japanese even though that was very far away from how I am and my relatives are.


Sun, Jul 10, 2011 : 12:04 p.m.

I think you need to go &quot;off duty&quot; more when it comes to race. I understand that you make your living off this stuff ... but sheesh... mentioning a movie that was made 50 years ago (Mickey Rooney is dead) Many children's books for the most part are race neutral but even if they were not, books like Bridge to Terabithia or a Wrinkle In Time teach great values... who cares if characters are not asian. Maybe you should read Sounder, or Julie of the Wolves.

Gwynne O.

Mon, Jul 11, 2011 : 6:12 a.m.

Mickey Rooney is still alive. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>