Paper Sons: A Memoir by Dickson Lam
5 Stars: Dropping Raw Science
Oh, how I like memoirs to be raw... Some people have nothing to say or share something relatable to your life, you close those books and forget about it I won't forget the realness of 'Paper Sons: A Memoir by Dickson Lam". Pages upon pages smacking me with the struggles of someone I don't know but want to know because I share that want of writing what is real without filters to protect the lies and memories that may hurt those involved. We can wallow in our pain and past, but perspective is far more therapeutic, meaning take a look at someone else's American experience compare and contrast to your own life. After reading ask yourself did that person successfully overcome or succumb to their past, either way, you can walk away with valuable lessons.
Dickson Lam opens up with the death of his student Javon King he writes with such earnest, and I felt the loss as I turned the page Dickson begins to share things that I feel I haven't heard too many Asian Americans share their thoughts or family history of the ugly side of the American experience. We don't learn about the lynching of Asian Americans during the gold rush, but we know that every group that has ever immigrated to America ended up being exploited with the bonus of good ol' American violence. Dickson drops the science on living in the projects, Mao, Malcolm X and the culture of exclusion. The fully developed characters that Lam writes paints a picture of love-hate within his family it's all a struggle to be someone when you start out with a bad hand, but memoirs have to show the ugly, the darkness, the abuse because we get exposed to knowledge of self and how to get past the past.
I feel that Dickson's book reads like a journal rich with thoughts and mazes of dysfunction and realism that inspires for truth and understanding that we share in life more than we think.