Tagged with chinese americans
May-lee Chai exposes the racist heartlessness of the heartland in her memoir of spending her teens in South Dakota (near the Pine Ridge reservation where someone perhaps other than Leonard Peltier shot two FBI agents a few years before the Chais moved there). She and her brother faced real danger from their fellow junior high and high school students, and several of the family’s dogs were killed on the Chai’s farm.
When I selected this memoir by a Taiwanese adoptee raised by white parents in Michigan reunited with her birth family, I expected something a bit more critical than Lucky Girl turns out to be. I guess I thought the title would be more ironic than it is. I don't think the title is entirely unlayered, but the author does seem pretty happy with how her life turned out, rather than how it might have if she'd remained one of too many (seven?) daughters of a Chinese couple that kept at it in the hopes of eventually producing a healthy, non-deformed boy.
Besides, to my child mind, adoption seemed a plenty logical way for people to reproduce, way more reasonable than the idea that women grew babies in their bellies that popped out after forty weeks. It made all the sense in the world to me that we would pick up my new brother at the airport--I mean, that's where I came from, right? p.69