Author available to speak with classes and book groups

I enjoy communicating with students and have visited many classrooms, or communicated with students via Skype, email or phone. American Son has been assigned by many educators, from inner-city high schools to doctoral seminars at top universities, primarily due to word of mouth (see list below). More recently, I have met classes to discuss my story collection. Consider assigning my work in your classroom and I’d be happy to talk with your students.

Feel free to contact me by clicking here.

Some places American Son has been taught

I’m grateful to all the educators who have assigned my writing over the years, whether at an inner-city high school or a doctoral literature at top research universities like Stanford. And I’m always happy to be invited to talk to students, whether in person or virtually.

I don’t have a complete list of the high schools and colleges where AMERICAN SON and other works have been taught, but I continue to receive regular emails from educators and students telling me they have assigned it for, or read it in, their classes. Instructors often tell me that their students love the book because it’s short and emotionally involving and provokes intense debates. Teachers like the way American Son fits into various course plans, engages their students and brings up complex, provocative discussions over matters of race, ethnicity, American colonialism, California, and immigration, as well as American stories in general.

Some of the universities where I know the book has been taught include: Stanford, Pomona, Amherst, Berkeley, Chicago, Brown, Northwestern, Cornell, Ateneo de Manila University, Michigan, Oberlin, UCLA, Harvard, Rice, Tufts, University of Washington, NYU, UMass Amherst, Boston College, SUNY Stony Brook, UC San Diego, University of Illinois, Rutgers, U of Hawaii, Manoa, Cal State Long Beach, Texas Lutheran University, University of Georgia, UC Santa Cruz, UC Santa Barbara, University of Oregon, Kansas University, University of San Diego, Cerritos College, UC Riverside, Notre Dame de Namur University, University of San Francisco, Santa Clara University, San Francisco City College, University of Cincinnati, San Francisco State, Foothill College, Georgetown University, Ohio State University, De Anza College, Los Medanos College, University of Northern Illinois, University of Southern Mississippi, University of San Diego, West Virginia University, Denison University, Old Dominion University, San Mateo Community College, El Camino College, City University of New York, and Miami University. I’ve heard that it has been taught in Germany, Spain, Italy, Latin America, Canada, and the Philippines.

If you have read the book in a course, or taught it, I’d love to hear from you about the experience. Maybe we could even arrange a visit or an online or Skype discussion with your class.

I’ve sometimes arranged for online Q and As with a class or book group, as well as a telephone discussion via speaker phone, and enjoyed the experience.

Feel free to contact me by clicking here.


Here is what the premier academic organization in Asian American Studies said about the book in awarding it the literature prize in 2003 and recommending it for high school and university classrooms:

"Brian Ascalon Roley's American Son is a short novel that packs a wallop, like a boxer who strikes hard in the first line and doesn't let up with unexpected punches... a highly provocative and teachable book that offers many levels of engagement: literary, philosophical, cultural, sociological. Students respond to these characters and their situations with recognition and great interest, since the pressures and demands of conforming, performing, masking anxieties, compromising values, and struggling to find oneself are issues we all wrestle with in a rapidly shifting and unstable world."

--Award Citation, Association of Asian American Studies 2003 Prose Book Award

Other review excerpts:

"Two Half-Filipino brothers can pass for white, their mother cannot; painful conflicts are in store for everybody in this complex exploration of racism in California, starting in 1993, a year after the Rodney King Riots." New York Times Notable Books of 2001

"A frightening and unapologetic look at both the immigrant and bi-racial experience, introducing us to a cast of original characters who have been brought to life with prose so sharp it hurts." Neela Banerjee, Asian Week.

"Explosive and Illuminating." Los Angeles Times Best Books of 2001