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Publishers Weekly, 1998-06-08 New Yorker O'Hearn, who was born in Hong Kong of an Irish-American father and a Chinese mother, first tells her own story?she found she could pass as Hawaiian, Italian or even Russian?then goes on to collect first-person accounts of 17 others with biracial or bicultural backgrounds who grew up in the U.S. or emigrated here. The multicultural combinations are complex and varied: a woman with a Chinese-Jamaican mother and a Chinese-American father, a man with an English father and a Jamaican mother ("They are not two shades of brown. They are black and white"), a woman with a mother from Brooklyn and a father from Bombay. Other contributors do not have a racially mixed background but write as strangers in a strange land: a South Vietnamese who escaped by boat and grew up in Southern California; a Hindu from Calcutta who attends school in America. Others reflect Mexican, Iranian and Japanese cultures. The names of some of the contributors are familiar?Gish Jen, Bharati Mukherjee, James McBride, Roxane Farmanfarmaian, Lisa See?but many are not, and although the tone throughout ranges from bitter and self-absorbed to satirical, most reveal a quiet sense of humor. Several of the entries have been published previously in anthologies or magazines. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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