“No Good Very Bad Asian by Leland Cheuk follows an Asian American protagonist, Sirius Lee, struggling to pursue a career in comedy while balancing his racial identity. It illustrates Sirius’ journey from his immigrant upbringing to his stardom all the while trying to overcome racial barriers within this country.
To accurately convey this struggle that defies the model minority stereotype, Cheuk took it upon himself to embody Sirius’ character as his own, as part of his research for the book.
“I was trying on the skin of somebody like Sirius,” he told Datebook.”
Read the rest of the profile at AsAm News.
“…the book serves as a bold satirical mirror of the deepest, ugliest, but partially true feelings and thoughts of Asian Americans.”
“The core of Leland Cheuk’s upcoming novel was there from the start: a book about an Asian American comic. But the true heart of “No Good Very Bad Asian,” the protagonist’s constant grappling with his racial identity as he looks back on the staggering highs and steep lows of his career as a successful comedian, didn’t come until Cheuk himself took the stage — as research for the book.”
Read the rest of the piece at the San Francisco Chronicle.
“The novel picks delicately at knotty ideas and contradictions about life as an Asian in America…Cheuk’s confident style and skilled toggling between moods make the book a terrific read.
“Leland Cheuk’s second novel, No Good Very Bad Asian, bears a freshness that the majority of novels simply can’t conjure. It’s a rare book, sprouting fanciful ideas from a realistic emotional foundation. It covers racism, family, belonging, and the meaning of a life well lived while posing as a celebrity rise-and-fall novel.”
Read the rest of the review at Book and Film Globe.
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“Q: How did you come up with the idea for No Good Very Bad Asian and for your character Sirius Lee?
A: I started the book in 2010. Back then standup comedy was breaking into the zeitgeist with popular podcasts like WTF with Marc Maron and The Nerdist and on TV with Louie and others. I’ve always been a bit of comedy geek so I thought why not write a comedy about comedy. I didn’t know what I was getting into.
Q: How much did you base the novel’s action on your own experiences doing stand-up comedy?”
Read the rest of the interview here.