The All American
Milan sustains in his narrator an amusingly bewildered, blundering, bumptious voice along with a leavening sense of absurdity…An unusual take on undocumented immigration that makes for a strong debut. - Kirkus (starred review)
A profoundly moving meditation on nationhood, belonging, and the possibility of rebirth. With this incredible debut, Joe Milan Jr. has rocketed himself into the literary stratosphere. - Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
An immersive, fast-paced story.… Milan’s writing is tight, with fresh and vivid descriptions that illuminate the contrasts in Bucky’s background and cultural makeup. The novel raises questions about who and what exactly determines your identity. -BookPage
Amid the uncomfortable laughter, Milan confronts transracial identity, societal roles chosen and forced, limits of language, ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mutability, and the porousness of truth and lies. - Booklist
The All-American is an irreverent, bold page-turner, self-assured and engrossing, this is one of those rare first novels that breathes new life into the journey toward self-revelation. Endlessly rewarding. - Mat Johnson, author of Invisible Things
In a reverse of the American immigrant novel, The All-American follows Bucky, a Korean American high school senior whose real name no one can pronounce. Never knowing his mother and abandoned by his father, Bucky grows up in a rural Washington trailer park, dreaming of playing college football. However, his football dreams are snuffed out as the U.S. government deports him and the South Korean government conscripts him. With this, Bucky confronts the fact that how he sees himself is not how others see him.