Messy Roots: A Graphic Memoir of a Wuhanese American


Product Details

$14.99  $13.94
Balzer & Bray/Harperteen
Publish Date
6.18 X 9.02 X 0.64 inches | 1.26 pounds

Earn by promoting books

Earn money by sharing your favorite books through our Affiliate program.

Become an affiliate

About the Author

Laura Gao is a comic artist and bread lover currently living in San Francisco. Laura's art career began by doodling on Pokémon cards and has since blossomed to be featured on NPR, HuffPost, and, most notably, her parents' fridge. She is a proud queer Asian American immigrant and strives to inspire others to live unapologetically loud. Laura's pronouns are she/they. Say hello and send her bakery recommendations at


In this beautifully illustrated graphic memoir, debut author/artist Gao does an excellent job of representing the complexity and challenges that came with growing up as young Chinese immigrant... [H]eartfelt and relatable.--Booklist
Hilarious, heartfelt, and beautifully illustrated, Messy Roots deserves to join the Chinese American canon right next to Gene Luen Yang's American Born Chinese.--R.F. Kuang, author of The Poppy War
Messy Roots is about the hardship of identity and the beautiful but messy journey to find it.--Aminder Dhaliwal, author of Cyclopedia Exotica
The narrative overlays immigrant community dynamics with the intersections of race, ethnicity, and gender in young adults' identity development while drawing on Chinese cultural icons old and new, such as White Rabbit candies.... A nuanced representation of being Asian and transnational in the contemporary U.S. --Kirkus Reviews
"Messy Roots is a laugh-out-loud, heartfelt and deeply engaging story of their journey to find themself--as an American, as the daughter of Chinese immigrants, as a queer person and as a Wuhanese American in the middle of a pandemic. Through hilarious inner dialogue, videogaming references and fun explainers, Gao effortlessly brings readers into their world." --Malaka Gharib, author of I Was Their American Dream
"Messy Roots is funny, intimate, absorbing, and deeply moving. What a gift to have this peek into Laura Gao's memories, in all their sweetness and complexity." --Becky Albertalli, New York Times bestselling author of Kate in Waiting
Finding ourselves can be messy, but Laura Gao tells her story of self-discovery with honest and vulnerable beauty.--Mike Curato, Lambda Award-winning author of Flamer
"Messy Roots surprised me in all the best ways. It's a book that will stay with you for a long time to come."--Tillie Walden, author of On a Sunbeam
In this fresh, frank, and tender debut, author-illustrator Gao offers a compellingly layered graphic memoir.... A multidimensional, thoroughly entertaining account of growing into queer Asian American identity.--Publishers Weekly (starred review)