NO GOOD VERY BAD ASIAN (a novel, forthcoming September 14, 2019)



Meet Sirius Lee, a famous Chinese American comedian. He is a no good, very bad Asian. He is not good at math and has no interest in finding a “good Chinese girlfriend.” And he refuses to put any effort into becoming the CEO/lawyer/doctor his parents so desperately want him to be. All he wants to do is make people laugh. A cross between Paul Beatty’s The Sellout and Jade Chang’s The Wangs Vs. The World, No Good Very Bad Asian follows Sirius’s life from his poor upbringing in the immigrant enclaves of Los Angeles to the loftiest heights of stardom as he struggles with substance abuse and the prejudice he faces despite his fame. Ultimately, when he becomes a father himself, he must come to terms with who he is, where he came from, and the legacy he’ll leave behind.

Written by author and MacDowell Colony fellow Leland Cheuk, who did standup comedy for several years in New York City, No Good Very Bad Asian is a hilarious and affecting exploration of identity in America.


“A touching, funny tale of a Chinese American underachiever’s unlikely journey into standup comedy while also navigating the duties and obligations of society and his traditional family. The comic yet poignant acts that make up the life of Sirius Lee will both entertain and haunt you.”
Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, author of Sarong Party Girls

“An epistolary novel with a devastating sense of humor that will break your heart and captures that space between a rock and hard place of being Asian American in search of unconditional love. Self-centered outcast, precocious megastar Sirius Lee (Hor Luk Lee) shares his life lessons with his daughter, making himself known to her with courage and candor in an appeal that will make you nod with recognition and laugh in that way that only the sharpest comedians can make you laugh, with tears in your eyes.”
Jimin Han, author of A Small Revolution

“Leland Cheuk’s wacky and wondrous novel follows Sirius Lee, the ultimate anti-hero, an Asian American comedian who overcomes all odds to become a star. With brio and humor, Sirius fights prejudice, substance abuse, and his own worst instincts, always striving for a world bigger than his own. By the last page, he was so real to me that I longed to turn on the TV and watch the legendary comedy special that gives the novel its name.”
Kirstin Chen, author of Bury What We Cannot Take

“Leland Cheuk’s No Good Very Bad Asian tears the tarp from the Asian American experience and exposes its deepest desires and fears. It articulates perfectly the amusements that make the entire room uncomfortable. Cringing never felt so good.”
Ed Lin, author of 99 Ways to Die


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