What Lin seems to have set out to do is create a noir
protagonist of color, and to undermine the seedy depiction of Chinatowns that
has existed in the popular mainstream as being populated by nameless and
faceless Chinese people.
Thanhha Lai’s 2011 National Book Award-winning young adult novel Inside Out and Back Again is the story of Ha, an adolescent Vietnamese girl who lives in Saigon during the Vietnam War. When the North Vietnamese army captures Saigon in...