「服務他人是你住地球應該付出的租金。」– 穆罕默德‧阿里 (拳擊手)
"Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth." -- Muhammad Ali, Boxer

作者:Gene Luen Yang
出版社:First Second Books
中譯本:《美生中國人》簡體中文 / 中英對照版,陝西師範大學出版社

  • 本書為2006年Amazon最暢銷繪本,並入選Time時代雜誌當年度十大漫畫。
  • 作者自2016年起擔任美國青少年文學大使,致力於使用繪本的方式推廣青少年教育。
  • 作者本身為華裔美國人,在本書巧妙融合美國漫畫和西遊記等元素,敘述移民華人的內心掙扎和困境。


American Born Chinese is a graphic novel about growing up and being an outsider. The reader experiences this perspective from 2 characters: Jin Wang, an American-born Chinese boy and his best friend, Wei-Chen Sun, a Taiwanese boy who moved to America with his family. Both of these characters struggle with their ethnic identities and experience life as minorities in high school. What’s truly unique about this book is how it simultaneously tells two other stories: a version of the famous Monkey King myth and a sitcom-inspired story about a Chinese relative named "Chin-kee" visiting America. By the end of the novel these 3 stories intersect in the most unexpected, wonderful way, using the medium of graphic fiction to its full potential.


The Chin-kee storyline is written and illustrated to be as offensive as possible. On display here are all of the most racist stereotypes of Chinese people: Chin-kee has pale, yellow skin and slanted eyes; he is constantly embarrassing his hosts by overachieving academically and engaging in socially repulsive behavior; one of his sayings is: "Ah, as Confucius say, razy dog make for good stew." This part of the book is presented as a comedic television sitcom with a laugh track. This differentiates it from the other 2 stories, but also demonstrates how just 15 or 20 years ago this type of content was acceptable for Western network television, and advertisers were happy to sponsor it.



When I ask Taiwanese citizens about stereotypes, many aren't immediately aware of any. One response I've received is "people think we work very hard", which is one of the stereotypes on display in Chin-kee's character: the "model minority" myth. This is the assumption that Asian students are better at math or sciences because they come from less privileged circumstances and a strict family. Even this is a harmful stereotype, causing anxiety and depression for both parents and children of immigrant communities.


註解:模範少數族裔 (model minority):1950至1960年代時,美國媒體上出現了有關亞裔被視為「模範少數族裔」(model minority)的言論,當時許多報章雜誌也時常誇讚亞裔美國人是勤勞守法、為人低調且任勞任怨的好公民。

This book tells a story about racial stereotypes and how, left uninterrogated, they might be internalized. Having this knowledge is valuable because it can help you anticipate other people's impressions of you, and even lead to an advantage in some situations. Finally, reading this type of fiction can help you become more familiar with the challenges of other people living abroad and offer insight into the psychology of racism.



 文/ Peter Gibbon

本文收錄於英語島English Island 2019年2月號