After the class has completed reading Chang-Rae Lee’s touching “Native Speaker”, we have begun briefly going through Mathew Salesses’ “I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying”. First time coming across a novel of the flash fiction form, I have found the narrative of the novel specifically intriguing. The language used in the book is consistently simple but precise. Moreover, each little chapter represents an explosion of emotions, and displays the essence of a specific moment. On top of the precision and simplicity of the language is the unusual plot. I believe the Salesses’ work collides with big themes such as love, generation gap and identity.
Interestingly, the author Matthew Salesses was adopted from Korea at the age of two. Having gone through an experience of being adopted and transitioning to a totally different world, “I’m Not Saying, I’m Just Saying” shows Salesses’ exploration of adoption and parenting. Therefore, Salesses believes that parenting plays an important role in the shaping of one’s identity. And of course, the notion adoption has played a major role in Salesses’ life and work.
Looking back at all the literary analysis the Asian American Literature has done throughout the trimester, I have truly immersed myself in themes such as the exploration of one’s identity, the influence of family on one’s life and of course, big ideas such as love and hate. Ultimately, through all the literary pieces we have studied, I have obtained a deeper understanding of the Asian American immigrant experience in the 20th century, and developed an interest for future studies.