Paper Bullets

A Fictional Autobiography

Kip Fulbeck

  • Published: July 2015
  • Subject Listing: Asian American Studies; Literature / Fiction
  • Bibliographic information: 282 pp., LC 00-48434, 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: World Rights
  • Contents

Award-winning videomaker, performance artist, and pop-culture provocateur Kip Fulbeck has captivated audiences worldwide with his mixture of high
comedy and personal narrative. In Paper Bullets, his first novel, Fulbeck taps into his Cantonese, English, Irish, and Welsh heritage, weaving a fictional autobiography from 27 closely linked stories, essays, and confessions. By turns sensitive and forceful, passionate and callous, Fulbeck confronts the politics of race, sex, and Asian American masculinity head-on without apology, constantly questioning where Hapas fit in a country that ignores multiracial identity.

Raised in southern California by a Chinese-born mother and a Caucasian father, Fulbeck pushes the conventions of literary form as he simultaneously draws from, recreates, and fabricates his own life history. His range of experiences - from college professor to youth outreach volunteer, blues player to surfer and lifeguard - informs his witty and humane writing. Like himself, his protagonist is a young man shaped by the conflicting mores, stigmas, desires, and codes of male conduct in America. He searches for and mismanages love and independence, continually experimenting with sex along the way. Sometimes hilarious, always heartfelt, surfing the trivia of pop culture and sound bits, his inner voice shifts continually among the real, the perceived, and the imagined.

"Paper Bullets' stylistic flair and humor give the familiar paradoxes of racial and sexual politics a freshness and urgency that is irresistible. If there's such a thing as Hapa rap, this could be it."
-Arati Rao, Columbia University

"Ever-transforming Asian American cultural styles in which East and West intertwine Asian American babyboomers, generation X-ers, and now generation XYZ-ers are delightfully and disturbingly illuminated in Paper Bullets."
-Teresa K. Williams-Leon, California State University, Northridge

"Make no mistake, this is a rough book emotionally, a sexual coming-of-age story without any of the easy conventions of the genre. It is fast-paced, funny, and sometimes harrowing. Its form is sometimes experimental, but never unclear. There is honesty here, and wisdom, about how some men are misshapen and how we may grow."
-Paul R. Spickard, University of California, Santa Barbara

1. Sunflower
2. Violet
3. Daffodil
4. Carnation
5. Orchid
6. Delphinium
7. Morning Glory
8. Iris
9. Impatiens

"An inventive coming-of-age tale noteworthy for its dizzying array of pop culture references and for its candor and compassion."