All posts tagged: asian-american

Fears, stress as Asian restaurants focus on survival during coronavirus

At Gourmet Kingdom in Carrboro during a recent lunch hour, the restaurant is empty. A statewide shutdown on restaurants is in place because of the coronavirus. Outside on Main Street, the air is still and baking hot. People wander, beleaguered and stressed. Inside the restaurant, the air is cool – there is still some normalcy. David Yu, owner of Gourmet Kingdom, is rushing from phone to kitchen with takeout orders and back to the phone, stopping to grab containers of soups. “Business has slowed,” he admits, taking down the mask he’s been wearing to speak with a reporter. When asked if people have been nice to the restaurant, he replies, “I know what you mean.” “There are some regular customers. They’re all pretty understandable. They don’t have any hostility toward us. They understand business,” Yu said. “It’s definitely worrying,” he added. “It’s more worrying than for people who don’t own businesses. Everybody worries about their health, to not catch the virus. I’m worried for this business to survive.” Yu hopes the Paycheck Protection Program will …

Lessons from the life and work of Iris Chang

Iris Chang’s life was many things to me. Even before I read her books, she was this wonderful figure among Asian-Americans. I remember seeing her face on the cover of Reader’s Digest in the Nineties and knowing and being proud of this rare instance of an Asian face being so prominent, and respected. I remember the excerpt of her book, “The Rape of Nanking,” in Newsweek and how much weight that carried. I also remember the feeling when news broke of her committing suicide in 2004, when she was just 36 years old: Horror. It felt like there was a dark void in what happened. What was it that drove her to suicide? That question has been probed many times in articles and books written by those close to her. This essay is not going to delve into that, but will be a reflection on the lessons that Chang’s life and work still carry for our time. Chang’s books and her experiences have been on my mind these past few years for many reasons. First, …