Reading Journal


The book East Meets West by Andrew Lam is a mixture of different writing arts. He formulated it in two parts; journalism and essay. He writes his work in the first person and shines light on his past life in the United States as well as Vietnam, Bay area and Dalat in particular. Lam highlights on the key issues arising from his immigrant experience describing East’s intersection on West, and how the East has surpassed the west in terms of merit as well as cultural values. His work vouches for the superiority of Asia films, anime, manga, its cuisine as well as their pride in martial arts. Though Lam holds no pretensions in academics, he is a particularly keen observer. In accordance with Lam, America is wallowing in the aftermath of Asia’s immigrants accompanied with their societal cultures.

In a short essay, Lam writes on ghost hovering over the Pacific Ocean describing the declining health of his grandmother and the craving for a lost country and a lost husband. He holds beautiful connections with her. In another similar insight concerning spirits, he talks about searching for his great-grandfather’s grave in a Vietnam province in 2004. His work boasts of clinical description as well as a powerful visit aimed at discovering his heritage. He later manages to find his grandfathers grave, which apparently happened to that of a local hero in a hidden place. He thereafter goes on to feel a deep kinship emotion in that situation. Lam talks of his relatives who reveal guarded emotions in the form of karaoke singing, as similar to his learning experiences with his English teachers, as well as the influx of Vietnam into the valley of silicon. This ideology is both universal and unique. However, from reading the book, you get the notion that Lam’s work is more of an experiment for making serious fictional forays. Nevertheless, Andrew Lam has been awarded numerous accolades for his writing works as well as journalism. However, he goes on to say the west’s practices are gradually engulfing those of the Asian immigrants, slowly being embedded into their own.

Personal Response

This book is talks about Lam’s personal experiences in America, and he expresses it in both writing and reporting in first person, making it incontestable. No one would be in a position to falsify the viability of a personal experience. Lam performs his work from the perspective and skill of a journalist. Therefore, affording him to venture to unresolved issues, together with issues beyond fact but are true. Lam in his work informs us of his life struggles, losing his family and childhood home. Surprisingly, he shares his pitying past life without minimal emotional pain. He talks about his hard endeavors of trying to fit-in to a brand new environment and culture while contemplating the rude awakening.

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