cover image Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life

Year of the Tiger: An Activist’s Life

Alice Wong. Vintage, $17 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-31539-2

Wong outlines her life as an advocate and educator in this stunning collection of essays, interviews, and artwork. Born to parents who emigrated from Hong Kong to Indiana in the 1970s, Wong describes how Chinese American culture and her progressive muscular dystrophy shaped her childhood. After moving to San Francisco for grad school, Wong advocated for access and disability rights, and in 2014 founded the Disability Visibility Project, “an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture.” In “My Day as a Robot,” she describes using a telepresence robot to meet then-president Barack Obama in 2015 , while “The Last Disabled Oracle” is a series of imagined dispatches from the year 2029 that asks “How can we harness our imagination to create the world we want to live in right now and in the future?” Throughout, Wong references a “Tiger” spirit: “It takes a lot of big cat energy to leap into unknown situations, roar against injustice... and swipe at all who annoy me across the multiverse,” she writes. Wong’s voice is straightforward, but she sprinkles in dry humor and is adept at balancing compassion with flashes of rage. The combination of memoir, manifesto, scrapbook, confession, and rousing call to action make for a winning mix. This one’s tough to forget. (Sept.)