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Meet Lac Su, author of “I Love Yous Are for White People”

Posted on | October 13, 2009 | 7 Comments

Lac Su, the author of "I Love Yous Are for White People."We’re on a roll, and have another interview lined up in the visualizAsian.com AAPI Empowerment Series. On Tuesday, November 17 at 6 pm PT (9 pm ET), we’ll be speaking We were honored to speak with Lac Su, the author of the powerful new memoir, “I Love Yous Are for White People,” on November 17.

Lac Su is an executive for TalentSmart, a global think tank and management consulting firm, in the day time, and a husband, a father, a painter, a photographer, and a writer after 5 p.m. and on the weekends. He was born in Danang-Vietnam, grew up in Los Angeles, and now resides in San Diego. “I Love Yous Are for White People” is his first book—a memoir.


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The book opens at a breakneck pace with the memories of his family’s escape from Vietnam, and segues into the family’s introduction to life as refugees in Los Angeles. Lac’s father is authoritarian and abusive, and as the years go by, the entire family lives in fear of his temper.

"I Love Yous Are for White People"The lack of affection and support from his father — the book’s title refers to the idyllic loving families the young Lac saw on American television shows and movies, and at his school friends’ homes — eventually lead Lac into the world of gang thuggery to seek an alternative family acceptance and a sense of belonging.

The book is structured as a series of vignettes, based on journals Lac wrote throughout his youth. It’s hard to imagine what it must have been like to re-live those memories to write the chapters for this book.

It’s an amazing tumble of a read, and one that lives up to the cliche, “you can’t put it down.”

We can only hope that Lac publishes other vignettes in a sequel, or follows his life beyond the teen-aged years. But then, those stories may not have the same gripping drama of his childhood. He went on to a magnet high school and on to college, and now has a doctorate.

It’s a testament to his strong spirit that he survived the tumult of his early life and then capture it so vividly.

Here’s an interview with Lac by filmmaker Steve Nguyen:

The Making of a Memoir from Steve Nguyen on Vimeo.


SIGN UP FOR LAC SU’S FREE ARCHIVED INTERVIEW ONLINE FOR A LIMITED TIME!


Comments

7 Responses to “Meet Lac Su, author of “I Love Yous Are for White People””

  1. Janice S. Wong
    November 13th, 2009 @ 12:59 am

    It seems a lot of first generation children had fathers that were very dictatorial and even abusive…but so many of us asian kids survived and became successful in spite of that. Many of us could have taken the other path..delinquency…but didn’t…amazing, and today I don’t hate my Dad…life was hard for him and for us….but we did better in spite of it all…he didn’t know how to be a loving supportive father because his father was like him…

  2. Kamilla F.
    December 31st, 2009 @ 12:11 am

    “It seems a lot of first generation children had fathers that were very dictatorial and even abusive…but so many of us asian kids survived and became successful in spite of that.”

    I can definitely relate to this, even though I am a Russian-Canadian.

    P.S. Great video!

    Kamilla (http://amrevolutions.com)

  3. admin
    December 31st, 2009 @ 9:28 am

    Thanks Janice and Kamilla! It’s probably true that all immigrant parents, who have high hopes and dreams for their children when they come to America, are probably more strict….

  4. Everything is Connected » Blog Archive » Currently Reading: I Love Yous Are For White People
    May 13th, 2010 @ 1:17 am

    [...] even downloaded the VisualizAsian podcast interview with Lac Su–author of what I thought was a funny novel, but a published author, nonetheless–and it [...]

  5. The Catch Star Girl Blog » Blog Archive » Currently Reading: I Love Yous are for White People
    May 13th, 2010 @ 1:26 am

    [...] even downloaded the VisualizAsian podcast interview with Lac Su–author of what I thought was a funny novel, but a published author, nonetheless–and it [...]

  6. Nancy Nicholas
    January 20th, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

    If I were going to write a book, it would be called Not All Tiger Parents are Oriental. My parents were of German descent and they raised me the exact same way as Lac Su. I was constantly told I’d never amount to anything. I never received any positive reinforcement. I was whipped, insulted, belittled, etc. I’m 63 and I still have problems. It’s a crying shame that the first 16 years of a person’s life dominate the rest of it.

  7. admin
    January 20th, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

    Wow, Nancy — sorry to hear about your upbringing. Lac has definitely risen above his childhood, though. After being involved in gangs and a criminal life, he now has a PhD and is a trainer and activist.

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