Which Side Are You On by Ryan Lee Wong

Which Side Are You On by Ryan Lee Wong

$ 26.00

An Asian American organizer confronts a series of astonishing revelations about his mother’s own activism in this powerful—and very funny—debut novel of politics and coming of age, youthful idealism and a mother’s wisdom, and what it means to live with integrity in an unjust world

On sale October 4, 2022 ISBN: 9781646221486

Twenty-one-year-old Reed is dropping out of college. Enraged at the killing of a Black man by an Asian NYPD officer and disturbed by his own class and racial privilege, he returns home to Los Angeles to tell his parents and build a new life as a Black Lives Matter activist.
 
Reed’s mother, alarmed at this turn, reluctantly tells him about her own activism, and how she worked to quell Black-Korean violence in Los Angeles before the Rodney King uprising. The resonance between these two moments of Black-Asian history drives their conversations as they navigate the landscape and history of Los Angeles, from public protests to wellness havens to fast food establishments. Reed’s austere personal ethics rub against his mother’s self-care and sense of fun; his idealism against his mother’s pragmatism. The stories she tells challenge Reed’s understanding of who he is.
 
Inspired by his deep roots in activism, Ryan Lee Wong offers an extraordinary debut novel for readers of Lisa Ko, Rachel Kushner, and Marlon James, a book that is as hilarious as it is profound, paying homage to the hard work of activism and a mother’s love, wit, and wisdom.

RYAN LEE WONG was born and raised in Los Angeles and lives at Ancestral Heart Zen Monastery in Millerton, New York. Previously, he served as Program Director for the Asian American Writers’ Workshop and Managing Director of Kundiman. He has organized exhibitions and written extensively on the Asian American movements of the 1970s. He holds an MFA in Fiction from Rutgers-Newark. Which Side Are You On is his first book.