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Waylaid is the story of a Chinese American boy who struggles to grow up in the grip of an overcharged sexual environment. With a daily routine that involves renting out rooms to johns and hookers at his parents' sleazy hotel, the narrator loses his grip on concepts of friendship, family and childhood. As he pursues his all-consuming quest to lose his virginity, issues of race, class and sex cripple his sense of self-worth. It is a story told with a Gen-X-style bleak humor that doesn't pander to conventional notions of immigrant narrative. Waylaid doesn't cut a wide swath through Asian American literature. It is a switchblade in the gut to stories of over-achievement and success in America that ignore the human cost.
Kaya/Muae, 9781885030320, 169pp.
Publication Date: May 2, 2002