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Leland Cheuk’s Playlist for His Novel “No Very good Quite Negative Asian”

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October 16, 2019
Leland Cheuk’s Playlist for His Novel “No Very good Quite Negative Asian”

In the Book Notes series, authors generate and go over a music playlist that relates in some way to their lately published book.
Preceding contributors include things like Jesmyn Ward, Lauren Groff, Bret Easton Ellis, Celeste Ng, T.C. Boyle, Dana Spiotta, Amy Bloom, Aimee Bender, Heidi Julavits, Hari Kunzru, and several other people.
Leland Cheuk’s novel No Very good Quite Negative Asian is moving, unsettling, and a single of the funniest books I have study in a lengthy time.
The Brooklyn Rail wrote of the book:
“The balance among comic and severe is essential in literary comedy. Stray as well far in either path and you fail, becoming simplistic on a single hand, boring on the other. Even though a best balance is admittedly not possible, under no circumstances thoughts a matter of taste, Leland Cheuk does an admirable job in his most up-to-date, No Very good Quite Negative Asian, attaining a correct synthesis of heart and humor highlighted by the fluidity of his very first-particular person voice and a steady diet regime of sharp turns of prose.”
In his personal words, right here is Leland Cheuk’s Book Notes music playlist for his novel No Very good Quite Negative Asian:

My novel No Very good Quite Negative Asian stars a fictive famed standup comedian named Sirius Lee, who tells the story of his life to his estranged seven-year-old daughter. Regardless of his successes, Sirius’s life is a single weighed down by racism as nicely as his personal blunders. It is a book that I felt like I very actually bled for. For analysis, I did standup for two and a half years. Then I was diagnosed with cancer, quite fortunately getting a life-saving bone marrow transplant, and for the duration of the lengthy recovery, ultimately figured out what the book was about, and completed it a lot of instances and somehow discovered a publisher to take it right after a complete year of rejections.
Like Sirius, regardless of the several ups and downs in my life and my writing, I under no circumstances stopped laughing, in massive aspect due to the fact of the comedians on this playlist.
“Energy Policy / Fat Kids” Greg Giraldo from Midlife Vices
The late, good Greg Giraldo is a single of my favourite standups. Very best identified for becoming a roast comic, his albums Very good Day to Cross A River and Midlife Vices are underappreciated classics. This bit about America needing major vehicles like SUVs to “haul their fat f–king little ones up hills” is ten years old and feels each bit as relevant now.
“Crazy Persons and The Guy in the Garbage Can” Dov Davidoff from The Point Is
Like Giraldo, Davidoff is a comic’s comic. In current years, he’s been most visible as a character actor in Television shows like HBO’s Crashing and NBC’s Shades of Blue. But he’s nonetheless performing on the road and authored a quite funny memoir entitled Road Dog: Life and Reflections from the Road as a Stand-up Comic. The punchline from his very first and only album (“How the f—k am I supposed to consume soup without the need of an envelope?”) normally gets me.
“Looking Inward” Sarah Silverman from We Are Miracles
We know her ideal for her irreverence, but Sarah Silverman is merely a genius-level joke writer. Vanity Fair broke down a single of her bits from her current Netflix specific A Speck of Dust here—it’s a single of the ideal bits I’ve ever observed. This bit from 2013’s We Are Miracles is produced up of a single brilliant joke right after one more (“To girls of a specific age: your heartbreaking and drastic attempts to appear younger are the purpose your daughter does not dream about her future.”)
“Crazy White Kids” Chris Rock from Larger and Blacker
No Very good Quite Negative Asian is, on some level, a political book. Sirius Lee, the protagonist, talks quite frankly all through the novel about race and class. I integrated this bit from Chris Rock’s Larger and Blacker due to the fact of what’s not in it—the ideal and most renowned joke. In the original specific, this bit is in it: “You do not want no gun manage. You know what you want? We want some bullet manage. Man, we want to manage the bullets, that is ideal. l feel all bullets ought to expense $five,000.” For some purpose (the NRA? Corporate censorship?), Spotify has excised the complete “Gun Control” bit from its version of Larger and Blacker. It can not even be discovered in Rock’s greatest bits album Cheese & Crackers.
“No Frills” Ronny Chieng from Just For Laughs 2015
Audiences likely ideal know the Malaysian-Australian comic Ronny Chieng from Crazy Wealthy Asians or his time as a correspondent on The Every day Show, but he’s also a single hell of a standup. This bit from Just For Laughs, the most significant international comedy festival in the planet, held annually in Montreal, showcases Chieng’s observational gifts connected to class (“When did the taxi ride to the airport get started to expense much more than the flight?”).
“Private College Asians” Ali Wong from Infant Cobra
Back when I was performing standup, I’d treat myself by going to Comedy Cellar to see Ali Wong, then far much less renowned than she is now. This bit touches on a quantity of truths you have to be Asian to fully grasp (“Fancy Asians…host Olympics. Jungle Asians host ailments.”) and however Wong tends to make them funny for a wider audience.
“Everyone is Stupid” Jen Kirkman from I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Really feel Fine)
How do you make climate modify and the achievable finish of the planet funny? Jen Kirkman does it right here in her terrific current Netflix specific. I’m Gonna Die Alone (And I Really feel Fine) is her third album and it appears like she’s been funny for two decades and only in current years, is she receiving the acclaim she deserves. Her memoir I Can Barely Take Care of Myself: Tales from a Satisfied Life With out Children was a New York Occasions bestseller in 2013.
“Being Black Saved My Life” Dave Chappelle from Just For Laughs 2000
How can you have a standup playlist without the need of a bit from Dave Chappelle. He excels at all the things as a comic: he can act, he does good impressions and act-outs, and he’s a superior joke writer. This bit is from nearly two decades ago, but it is just as funny and relevant now. The subtext that tends to make the bit perform (“Terrorists do not take black hostages.”) is the low worth the American government areas on black lives.
“Hello, I Have Cancer” Tig Notaro from Reside
“Tragedy plus time equals comedy,” Tig Notaro says in this famed bit revealing her breast cancer diagnosis on stage at Largo in Los Angeles in 2012. (It is hassle-free to overlook now that this set went viral thanks to an effusive praise tweet from present persona non grata Louie C.K.) Notaro’s set, which was raw, had handful of punchlines, and was meant to be a private exercise, reminds us that comedy has the energy to address the ultimate universality—the factor that we all have in typical: eventual death.
Leland Cheuk and No Very good Quite Negative Asian hyperlinks:
the author’s siteexcerpt from the book
Brooklyn Rail evaluation
Deborah Kalb interview with the authorLiterary Hub essay by the authorSan Francisco Chronicle profile of the author
also at Largehearted Boy:
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