Passport to Shame : From Asian Immigrant to American Addict

A psychotherapist’s candid memoir of addiction and recovery, exploring the intersection of Asian culture, mental health, and assimilating into American culture as an ethnic minority. Sam Louie grew up torn between cultures as part of a first-generation Chinese immigrant family from Hong Kong living in a predominantly African American neighborhood in the United States. He experienced the duality of living in the tension of two vastly different worldviews, his identity intertwined with the country he lives in and his ancestral ties. What traditions and cultural beliefs get preserved, what gets discarded, and what gets lost in translation? Beneath it all was the presence of three generations of addiction, trauma, and shame. In this bold, insightful book, he documents the challenges of immigrant experiences and how maladaptive coping mechanisms in the form of compulsive behaviors were a means to gain a sense of adequacy due to the cultural tide of shame and ostracism within his own ethnic heritage and the external world. Louie’s journey of resiliency in navigating multiple cultural forces in the face of adversity and racism can give readers a new understanding of hope, perseverance, and the resources necessary to heal.