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Nonfiction Review: Year of the Tiger by Alice Wong

Title: Year of the Tiger: And Activist's Life
Author: Alice Wong
Year published: 2022
Category: Adult non-fiction (memoir)
Pages: 400 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2022 Google Reading map)USA (CA)

SummaryIn Chinese culture, the tiger is deeply revered for its confidence, passion, ambition, and ferocity. That same fighting spirit resides in Alice Wong.
Drawing on a collection of original essays, previously published work, conversations, graphics, photos, commissioned art by disabled and Asian American artists, and more, Alice uses her unique talent to share an impressionistic scrapbook of her life as an Asian American disabled activist, community organizer, media maker, and dreamer. From her love of food and pop culture to her unwavering commitment to dismantling systemic ableism, Alice shares her thoughts on creativity, access, power, care, the pandemic, mortality, and the future. As a self-described disabled oracle, Alice traces her origins, tells her story, and creates a space for disabled people to be in conversation with one another and the world. Filled with incisive wit, joy, and rage, Wong’s Year of the Tiger will galvanize readers with big cat energy.

Review: I chose this book because it has a tiger on the cover. There, I've said it aloud. I read a book because it satisfied a challenge. And I am so glad I did. This book is excellent. I liked that it is a combination of essays, images, cartoons, conversations, podcasts, and more. I never knew what to expect on the next page.

Wong is unapologetic, gets pissed off at people, explains herself well, calls groups, governments, and people out for poor and thoughtless behavior, and through her stories, educates the reader about what it is like to live as a person with a disability in our world.

One of the best examples of this is when she talks about how important plastic straws are to her health and ability to eat and drink. So, when California banned plastic straws, it was a major problem for her. Now, thanks to Alice Wong, California restaurants may offer plastic straws upon request. Oh, and her story about how she got UC San Francisco to put in horizontal elevator buttons is fantastic.

If you have any interest in reading a book that will be eye-opening, revelatory, inspiring, interesting, and frustrating, this is a good one to choose.

Challenges for which this counts:
  • Popsugar--has a tiger on the cover

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