Frank H. Wu, Contributor
Author, Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White
"Playwright David Henry Hwang is not aware of this, but as a journalist I have long looked up to him as an older brother type figure. That would be appropriate in the Chinese culture from which we both are descended, and even in the American culture to which each of us has assimilated. He is not only a bona fide writer; he is a commercially successful one. Hwang’s big hit, M. Butterfly, has been revived on Broadway with a touched-up script, directed by Julie Taymor of Lion King fame and Spiderman infamy, starring Clive Owen, the cerebral action hero in movies such as Children of Men and the BMW short ads. I saw it immediately, and I was impressed. What follows is an appreciation, not a proper review. Hwang and I have had maybe a half-dozen conversations since as a student a decade younger I invited him to speak on campus, and he told me as I drove him from the airport that his parents had wanted him to become a lawyer. We are friendly enough I would not presume to evaluate his work. His achievement deserves admiration though: he has expressed what many of us have thought halfway but not been able to put into words clearly. There is nobody else doing what he does."
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