33 pages 1 hour read

Lac Su

I Love Yous are For White People

Nonfiction | Autobiography / Memoir | Adult | Published in 2009

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Key Figures

Lac Su

Lac Su is a Vietnamese-American author and vice president of marketing for TalentSmart, a global think tank and management consulting firm. He holds a master’s degree in industrial-organizational psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology. Su fled Communist Vietnam by boat with his parents and sister at the age of five. He grew up in seedy parts of Los Angeles, where he performed poorly in school and fell in with gangs. Faced with poverty, systemic discrimination, and an abusive father, Su’s memoir poignantly recounts the challenges facing new immigrants fleeing their homelands in pursuit of safety and the American Dream.

Pa

Pa is Su’s father and a Chinese immigrant, first to Vietnam and then to the US. Orphaned at the age of 12 and abused physically and psychologically by an uncle, Pa defied the odds and became a successful businessman in Da Nang. He dodged the Communist draft and fought alongside US soldiers until he was forced to flee via fishing boat after reunification. Linguistic and other cultural barriers, as well as an illness that puts him on permanent disability, threaten Pa’s sense of identity as the family’s breadwinner. Pa is at once a benevolent pater familias and an authoritarian tyrant who asserts his patriarchal authority over his wife and children through violence.

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