Book Review – Covering Kenji Yoshino

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Publisher:  Random House
Year Published 2006

Although I enjoyed the book. I have a few problems with it.  The book is very well written, perhaps one of the better written books I have read this year.  However, I can’t help but view “covering” as something we all do because we all need to live in society.  Another form of “Survival of the fittest.”

I couldn’t help but feel as if we keep looking for more reasons to place labels on ourselves. Why is it necessary to have a label?  Just because I choose to try to get rid of my accent doesn’t mean I feel as if I’m being discriminated against.  It can be and most likely the reason is that I hate my accent….. period.  Why is that wrong?  And why should I be made feel as if I cannot do that without questioning it or being questioned.

I don’t mean to say that perhaps in the early days of our country, immigrants felt the need to mask their accents, their way of living and any other foreign aspects of their beings.  However, I can say with 100% certainty that the only time I ever felt discriminated against or made fun of was actually by kids from my own country when I first arrived in the United States.  Perhaps due to their own insecurities.

There is a saying “when in Rome do as the Romans do” and we should keep that in mind.  The fact that we behave like the majority of the people is not to hide who we truly are but because humans are social creatures and that’s what social creatures do….. they conform so they can live peacefully.

Although I do not live in the shoes of the author and I do not know what it is to be a gay man in his world, it cannot be any different than any other man who is gay and made it through life without winning about it.  I found myself angry with the author at times and my book wound up full of little notes and tabs ……. Very stressful reading for me.

I have to say that I heard the author speak about the book at had the same feeling during the speech. I wanted to get up and put a stop to the conversation but…. the rest of the room seemed interested so …… I behaved as the rest of the room and kept quiet because that was the polite thing to do….

The book is well written.  The author is very personable and those were reasons enough for me to give the book 3 stars.

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