American Knees Background

American Knees Background

American Knees is a fictional novel written by Shawn Wong published in 1995 by Simon & Schuster. In 2005, it was re-issued by University of Washington Press.

The novel was first published when Wong was 45. When asked about the title in an interview, Wong stated: "When I was a child, kids used to come up to me and ask, 'What are you: Chinese, Japanese or Americanese?", while some asked if I was "Chinese, Japanese or dirty knees?"

Later channeling these words into his novel, Wong incorporates themes of cross-cultural socialization. The novel was met with generally positive reviews, with author Jessica Hagedorn calling it a "witty, tender, wise, and sexy new novel." David Wong Louie, of the LA Times Book Review, also praised the novel, saying that Wong "overturns the racial stereotypes perpetuated against Asians in this country."

A movie adaptation of the novel, written and directed by Eric Byler, is called Americanese. It was released in 2006 and received awards for Best Narrative Feature, Outstanding Ensemble Cast, and Best Actor.

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