Just as the denial of tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Wang Ping at Macalester have made headlines for academic racism targeting Black professors and professors of color, Truong Tran’s book of the other is a timely commentary on the inequities built into the white establishment within academia and beyond.
In this provocative collection of poetry, prose, and essays, Tran offers a stunning rebuttal to the idea of anti-Asian racism as a victimless crime—the hiring of a less qualified white man over a teacher of color who has served his public university for years, the performance of racial trauma for a white audience, the bind of racial representation and diversity politics, the daily racist transgressions that occur in events as simple as standing in line at the grocery store.
These sharp-eyed experiments in language and form resist the luxury of metaphor to name not only the state of academic violence but the daily injustices one encounters as a queer working-class teacher, immigrant, and refugee. book of the other is written with a compulsion for lucidity that transforms outrage into clarity, an achingly poignant acknowledgment of the estrangement from self forced upon those seduced by the promise of color-blind acceptance, and the step-by-step recollection needed to return to oneself.
book of the other by Truong Tran
Kaya Press, November 2021 (ISBN 978885030757)