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Author Lac Su takes home the top prize from the San Diego Book Awards

June 21, 2010 - 11:31 am

On June 5, San Diego Book Awards announced the 2010 winners.

At the top of the list is San Diego author Lac Su’s I Love Yous are for White People, a memoir detailing Su’s life growing up in a Vietnamese immigrant family in East Los Angeles.

The book, explains Su, is largely about his relationship with his father.

Su grew up watching and learning about father-son relationships through television shows like “The Brady Bunch” and “The Cosby Show.”

“I was so amazed at how Dr. Huxtable would give his kids that version of love,” says Su, whose own father was distant, disconnected and, at times, abusive. “I couldn’t get that love from my father, so I hit the streets and found it elsewhere.

My father’s approach to child-rearing was just brutal,” Su continued, “but there is some good in what my father has taught me.”

Su’s book examines and explains why Su’s father was the way he was and Su himself has learned a few lessons from writing the book.

“The cliché is, you know, I don’t want to be the same ugly father that I had toward my kids,” Su says. “Which is true, but it takes work. My father taught me those behaviors and it’s still ingrained in my personality—the beatings and the hot temper—and now that I have my own children I have to keep myself in check with the frustration that children can bring.”

So far, Su seems to be doing OK in the father department. He skipped the San Diego Book Awards ceremony earlier this month because his wife and kids needed him that night. The absence at the event, though, doesn’t mean he isn’t honored.

“Obviously, I’m very proud,” Su said.

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