Big Little Man: In Search of My Asian Self (Paperback)
On Our Shelves Now
“A ruthlessly honest personal story and a devastating critique of contemporary American culture.” — Seattle Times
A “searingly honest self-exploration”* of the experience and psyche of the Asian American male, including Tizon’s stunning final article, “My Family’s Slave”
Shame, Alex Tizon tells us, is universal—his own happened to be about race. To counteract the steady diet of American television and movies that taught Tizon to be ashamed of his face, his skin color, his height, he turned outward. (“I had to educate myself on my own worth. It was a sloppy, piecemeal education, but I had to do it because no one else was going to do it for me.”) Tizon illuminates his youthful search for Asian men who had no place in his American history books or classrooms. And he tracks what he experienced as seismic change: the rise of powerful, dynamic Asian men like Yahoo! cofounder Jerry Yang, actor Ken Watanabe, and NBA starter Jeremy Lin.
Included in this new edition of Big Little Man is Alex Tizon’s “My Family’s Slave”—2017’s best-read digital article. Published only weeks after Tizon’s death in 2017, it delivers a provocative, haunting, and ultimately redemptive coda.
* New York Times
“Alex Tizon writes with acumen and courage, and the result is a book at once illuminating and, yes, liberating.” — Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes
About the Author
ALEX TIZON, a Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist, was former Seattle bureau chief for the Los Angeles Times and longtime staff writer for the Seattle Times. He coproduced a 60 Minutes segment on Third World mail-order brides in Asia, and taught at the University of Oregon. Big Little Man was the winner of the prestigious Work in Progress Prize from the J. Anthony Lukas Prize Project.
"In Big Little Man Alex Tizon fearlessly penetrates the core of not just what it means to be male and Asian in America, but what it means to be human anywhere."-Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild "Part candid memoir, part incisive cultural study, Big Little Man addresses - and explodes - the stereotypes of Asian manhood. Alex Tizon writes with acumen and courage, and the result is a book at once illuminating and, yes, liberating." -Peter Ho Davies, author of The Welsh Girl "A well-paced, engaging combo of history, memoir, and social analysis. . . Tizon’s skill as a feature reporter serves the book well, producing a narrative that moves fluidly between subjects, settings, and gazes." -- Publishers Weekly “A deft, illuminating memoir and cultural history.” -- Kirkus Reviews "Written compellingly....eye-opening... deeply felt, extensively researched." -- Booklist "Tizon’s candid journey into the shifting and multiplying definitions of manliness and the masculine ideal is revelatory and sobering."-- Library Journal “Highly readable . . . This personal narrative of self-education and growth will engage any reader captivated by the sources of American, and Asian-American, manhood — its multitude of inheritances and prospects.” – Minneapolis Star Tribune “At once a ruthlessly honest personal story and a devastating critique of contemporary American culture . . . What makes [Tizon’s] writing compelling is his ability to investigate and explain complex topics, deftly weaving in information from websites, history texts, university research and social media, combined with intense self-examination. His willingness to look inward gives him more authority to unpack some of the damaging misperceptions about Asian men.” -- Seattle Times