Cover Image: Year of the Tiger

Year of the Tiger

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Alice Wong has written a revealing memoir,drawing us into her world.Sharing with us her life as a disabled member of society.Reading about her life in her voice is a real look into the struggles the fights to live and thrive.Alice has a strong personality a voice that was completely engaging a memoir I will be sharing.#netgalley #knopfdoubleday.
Was this review helpful?
I love a memoir in general but this one. Wow. I feel privileged to be living in a time with Alice Wong and privileged to read her stories. This memoir is heartfelt and moving and fascinating. I’m grateful for the work Alice does for the community and that she shared this particular book with all of us. Will definitely be finding a way to work this into my work with college students.
Was this review helpful?
I am so happy my friend, colleague and amazing person, Alice Wong, published this memoir. It’s not an easy read because while Alice knows how to have fun she also attacks subjects as diverse as education, work, access, staying alive, and eating as an disabled activist Asian American woman of color. 
This might be the golden age of disability activist memoirs. This is different than inspirational disability memoirs. While inspiration might be one result of many of these memoirs--from Haben Girma’s Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law to Riva Lehrer’s Golem Girl: A Memoir to Nina G’s, Stutterer Interrupted: The Comedian Who Almost Didn’t Happen to Jan Grue’s I Live a Life Like Yours: A Memoir, and many more—it is not a primary goal. In Alice’s case she might say “F U” to be labeled as an inspiration. She doesn’t pull punches and she didn’t put out a typical memoir. We learn a lot about Alice but not in a linear fashion. Some of the book is reprinted essays, many from her Disability Visibility Project blog. Alice became a well-deserved superstar in the Disability Rights and Culture worlds with this project, begun in 2015 to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act. She partnered with StoryCorps to tell stories from the disability rights world. Some of the essays in this book come from the StoryCorps interviews. Much of the book revolves around the Coronavirus pandemic and how it has impacted the lives (and deaths) of individuals with disabilities, including those like Alice who use technology, such as a non-invasive ventilator, to breathe and survive. People with disabilities have been creating and figuring out ways to thrive and survive living and working at home for many years. That makes some of us “oracles” and Alice describes why in several chapters. 
This memoir is full of information, reflection, interviews, drawings, food, and cats, among much more. Alice, like the rest of us, is a complicated and complex individual. Her goal, she often writes, is supporting other people, especially disabled people of color, to get the word about their own life and experiences, out into the world.  This memoir is one way of doing that because she shares the spotlight of this book highlighting the lives and work of many others. 
Highly recommended for anyone interested in Disability Rights and Culture.
Was this review helpful?
Thank you to netgalley for providing an e-galley for review. The Year of the Tiger by Alice Wong is an important book because it shows how the disability, or to borrow a phrase, crip community is left out of important decisions, laws and policies that affect them more than able-bodied people. While reading, it also made me realize that there are  things I can do to make access easier for people in my own life. This is interview heavy, so some things get repeated often, that would be the one negative.
Was this review helpful?
REPRESENTATION MATTERS!!

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2022 and it sure did not disappoint!! Long-time disability rights' activist Alice Wong has written an incredibly heartfelt and honest memoir+. 

More than your typical disability memoir, Alice's book is a collection of essays and interviews that touch on sooooo many important issues. She talks about her early life as a child born to Chinese immigrant parents and diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. She was constantly in and out of the hospital and had to undergo multiple surgeries. She also talks about life as a person dependent on life-saving machines, government assistance and the importance of authentic representation in media.

What I really connected with though was Alice's experiences as a person dependent on a ventilator and later a feeding tube, who was particularly vulnerable during the pandemic. Few people truly understand the precarious position those of us who were under 65 but still incredibly high-risk faced while waiting to get vaccines that could mean the difference between life or death.

In my opinion this was one of the best books about ableism and living with a disability. I particularly enjoyed the essays on her life in high school, being denied theatre classes because the teacher didn't even give her the chance to participate or fighting for funding for necessary support workers.

A must read for anyone who has dealt with similar issues or anyone who wants to better understand what a significant portion of the population has to deal with on a regular basis as funding for people with disabilities continues to decline and come under attack.

Much thanks to @PRHAudio, NetGalley and the publisher for early digital copies of this book in exchange for my honest review!

Favorite quotes:
"There's something incredibly affirming about seeing yourself reflected in popular culture."
Was this review helpful?
- YEAR OF THE TIGER is not just Alice Wong's memoir, but also a look back at decades of disability rights activism and thought, along with a look toward the possibilities of the future.
- I loved the scrapbook feel of this book. Rather than a straightforward memoir, Wong collects excerpts from past interviews and published essays and op-eds along with vignette-style memories of her childhood, art, and poetry.
- Wong showcases both the hardships and the joys of disabled life, highlighting the importance of community and making sure she's crystal clear that the obstacles she's encountered are because the world isn't made for disabled people, not because of a lack of any kind of the part of disabled people.
Was this review helpful?
In <em>Year of the Tiger</em> Alice Wong presents a scrapbook of her life and career as a disability rights activist. The book is filled with an eclectic array of documentation, including interviews, essays, poetry, drawings, and more. 

On one level, this book's content and format are admirable. People with disabilities are often silenced, and it is refreshing to read Alice Wong's strong and undiluted opinions on ableism, being Asian in the United States, and other concerns. As she writes, "every issue is a disabled issue". On the other hand, after a while the complete portfolio gets to be a bit much. Wong is at her best in essays and blog posts, but the lengthy, often redundant, interviews and podcast transcriptions made my eyes glaze over. 

In other words, this collection's ability to hold one's interest will depend on one's level of tolerance for all things Alice Wong.

I received an electronic pre-publication copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way.
Was this review helpful?
A creative collection of writing by the remarkable Alice Wong who has lived fully and with astounding resilience. The author is fierce and unapologetic. The memoir is intentionally messy - meant to bring the readers on a journey of a progressive neuromuscular condition rather than providing a fairy tale, against all odds hero story as seen in many disability memoirs.
Was this review helpful?
YEAR OF THE TIGER |

You know Alice Wong from #DisabilityVisability the project she started in response to the fact that StoryCorpus did not include many/any disabled stories.

In YEAR OF THE TIGER, Wong shares a compilation of thoughts, short form essays, doodles, interview and podcast transcriptions, poems, satirical stories, and notes that span 20+ years. What comes to shape is a live journal based in resistance and activism that Wong is forcing readers to think about.

To Wong, storytelling is activism. Telling a story, one's POV, that is markedly so different from what able-bodied people think is a form of resistance, saying I'm here and I'm glad I'm here. You should be glad I'm here as well.

There is a whole gamut of what Wong covers, growing up in Indiana, high school, gritting her teeth despite the lack of support from teachers while experiencing a worsening in her muscular dystrophy. Her memories around Lunar New Year, visiting Hong Kong. Applying for Medicaid. The struggles and continuous vulnerability that the disabled community face with each 'advance' and 'setback' of policy changes. Freedom and bodily autonomy. Living and surviving every damn day, especially during the pandemic. On how much disabled people can teach able bodied people and how we need to provide better access for those currently not included as a form of liberation and justice for all. Also, her love of cats :)
Was this review helpful?
Year of the Tiger is an incredible mosaic-style memoir comprised of essays, interviews, illustrations and memoir vignettes  by disability justice leader Alice Wong. Wong’s writing is frank and funny, written in a way that exemplifies the persona of her podcast work. After reading the collection she edited, Disability Visibility, it was such a pleasure to get to know her story, including a childhood of persistence and adaptation, of the denial of admittance to a drama class that fueled her earliest activism, and her supportive family. The interviews included provide important context and detail about her work, as well as current conversations about accessibility. One of my favorite moments of the memoir is when Alice writes of her future self, projects the achievements coming and even the strength of her legacy.
Was this review helpful?
Year of the Tiger is one of the best memoirs I have read this year. Alice Wong shares her experiences through essays, transcripts of interviews, art, and photos. I really appreciated how Wong didn’t shy away from her frustrations with ableist society as well as showing moments of joy. 
Thank you to Netgalley and all involved for the e-arc in exchange for an honest review..
Was this review helpful?
Alice Wong is amazing! I've been impressed by her work in Disability Visibility, and it's been great to have a whole book's worth of her passionate advocacy. The format is really interesting, with interviews, graphics, and photos. I'm going to recommend this to my colleagues and patrons!
Was this review helpful?
5 / 5 stars

I’m a big fan of creative nonfiction. I love Disability studies and reading about Disabled culture (I also love being Disabled and chronically ill). I especially enjoy Disabled nonfiction that explicitly denounces inspiration porn and refuses to partake in it. I desperately want to be, as she calls it, a fellow troublemaker alongside Alice Wong.

Basically, I was made for this, sickly bodymind and all. Even if I didn’t tick all those boxes,  if I were a nondisabled person who didn’t feel the same pull I do to this, it’s just objectively enjoyable.

Now, I can’t speak on some of the parts covered, especially her sharing her experiences and identity as Chinese American as I am white. They were written very endearingly, and I could physically feel the love, nostalgia, and appreciation she has for these experiences with her family. And that’s really lovely.

I can, however, speak on the Disability content and some of the other related ideas.

The serious subjects – explored in the past, the very recent past, pieces of the present, and the future – are given the respect and discussion they deserve, but the delivery blends them so smoothly with the intimacy of looking into a person’s life and still exemplifies her charming wit and silliness. 

And yeah, sometimes it does really suck to live in a nondisabled world as a Disabled person, yet the community we share makes the horrors we have to see everyday somewhat worth it. If it weren’t for my fellow people experiencing ‘Crip Rage’, I don’t know where I would be. I love seeing it so honestly put into words without fear of reprimand; that freedom is a luxury I got to enjoy vicariously while reading.

I have somewhat of a complicated relationship with my chronic illness; I’ve had it all my life but never knew. I found out about a year ago that I could be chronically ill and that chronic illnesses could be disabilities. I’d grown up in a house with Disabled parents and still never realized my own identity.

Regardless, I am not mad at my younger self. The barriers I faced in making this realization were not of my own creation. There were no mental barriers, a refusal to accept that which differentiated me from my peers. I simply didn’t have the words, resources, or knowledge required to come to this conclusion. So I’m mad at the systemic ableism that lies within the roots of our society, the ‘Crip Rage’ I previously alluded to.

Yet, I still have the immense privilege of being born after the passage of section 504. After the ADA. After the Olmstead decision, even. These are immense advantages that my Disabled ancestors fought for in order to give the future generation of Disabled people the chance at equity they never had. 

I am grateful for their work. I would never want to fight for such minimal respect as they did. I now have some legal rights as a Disabled person and can use those to continue with their foundation.

I’m also infinitely grateful to Alice Wong and her fellow troublemakers for the work they’re doing in protecting themselves and future generations of Disabled people while still honoring the names of those who came before them. They are the modern Disabled activists that I am lucky to be able to look up to and have protecting me without knowing of my existence.

Thank you to Netgalley and all involved for the ARC.
Was this review helpful?
THERE ARE SO FEW BOOKS ON ASIAN AMERICAN ACTIVISM. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and each authors perspective on how their disability affects their life and how they were drawn to activism - some forced, some willingly, but all for the same cause to life equality and cope better.
Was this review helpful?