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Big Little Man

In Search of My Asian Self

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


“A ruthlessly honest personal story and a devastating critique of contemporary American culture.” — Seattle Times

A “searingly honest self-exploration”* of the experience and psyche of the Asian American male, including Tizon’s stunning final article, “My Family’s Slave”
Shame, Alex Tizon tells us, is universal—his own happened to be about race. To counteract the steady diet of American television and movies that taught Tizon to be ashamed of his face, his skin color, his height, he turned outward. (“I had to educate myself on my own worth. It was a sloppy, piecemeal education, but I had to do it because no one else was going to do it for me.”) Tizon illuminates his youthful search for Asian men who had no place in his American history books or classrooms. And he tracks what he experienced as seismic change: the rise of powerful, dynamic Asian men like Yahoo! cofounder Jerry Yang, actor Ken Watanabe, and NBA starter Jeremy Lin.
            Included in this new edition of Big Little Man is Alex Tizon’s “My Family’s Slave”—2017’s best-read digital article. Published only weeks after Tizon’s death in 2017, it delivers a provocative, haunting, and ultimately redemptive coda.
* New York Times
“Alex Tizon writes with acumen and courage, and the result is a book at once illuminating and, yes, liberating.” — Peter Ho Davies, author of The Fortunes

From Publishers Weekly

Mar 10, 2014 – In this investigation into Asian masculinity, Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Tizon offers a well-paced, engaging combo of history, memoir, and social analysis. Beginning with a pilgrimage to Cebu in the Philippines, where the conquering European explorer Magellan was killed by the Mactanese, Tizon recounts his troubled past growing up in an America that belittled and erased the complexities of his Asian manhood, and the effect it had on his psyche and his immigrant family ("My parents' adulation of all things white and Western... was the engine of their self-annihilation"). He interweaves stories of Asian men forgotten or ignored by history, such as Zheng He, a 15th-century Chinese admiral who sailed around the world without the bloodlust of the Europeans who came after, as well as examinations of American attitudes toward Asian men as seen in films such as Harold and Kumar. Passages on self-imposed isolation and attempts to hide or mock his Asianness are visceral and painful. Tizon's skill as a feature reporter serves the book well, producing a narrative that moves fluidly between subjects, settings, and gazes.

Customer Reviews

Big Little Man by the late great powerful Alex Tizon

Alex clearly had a gift and what he could do with his pen is magical. The power of his prose and his storytelling is so impactful.

It is so great that The Atlantic has now published one of his amazing works about his Lola and "slavery" that is still happening with a lot of TNTs. Very brave piece!! BRAVO!!!

Big Little Man
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Jun 10, 2014
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Seller: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings