Called "fascinating," "powerful," "compelling," "fantastic," "great,"
"moving," "stunning," "deep," "enjoyable," "insightful," and more,
An American Sin is, at its heart, about doing the right thing, even in war--and how
the failure to do the right thing haunts the protagonist, David Wong.

The greatest words an author loves to hear: "I couldn't put it down!"
So said one reader to Frederick Su about his novel An American Sin.

From the frontispiece of An American Sin:

Because I can hear,
I bow down to Music.
Because I can see,
I bow down to Art.
Because I can feel,
I bow down to Family
and to Peace.
And, especially, do
I bow down to Children---
the torchbearers of Innocence.

An American Sin was a finalist in the 2009 Eric Hoffer Awards! It has also won an IPPY and was a finalist for a Benjamin Franklin Award and a John Gardner Fiction Book award (more info below).

Order directly from the publisher. $10. Free shipping. No sales tax for Washington state residents. U.S. addresses only.
Send check to

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P.O. Box 2635
Bellingham, WA 98227

Include your return address and what you wish me to say on the autograph page.
If you wish, you may include your email address,
too, for notification of future publications. Thank you!


"I read a lot of books. An American Sin blew me out of the water. It's fantastic!
I loved it!" Carmen Palomera, Director, Rainbow Bookfest, Seattle. "I cried."

"This story about those who fought in the Vietnam War will raise the consciousness of everyone who reads it and compel many to take a closer look at the long-term impact of war on individuals and our global society." Mary Ann Czarnezki, Ph.D., Sociology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

"I truly enjoyed An American Sin and found myself wrapped up in the life of the protagonist David Wong." Amitra Hodge, Associate Professor, Sociology, Buffalo State College.

"May this story [An American Sin] bring us all a broader understanding
and a greater appreciation for history and our multicultural society."
Former Washington Governor Gary Locke
(who is Chinese American).

“My benchmark is Tim O'Brien. I think Su shares his best qualities:
strong characters, stark situations, and compelling writing.
I was very moved and impressed by his novel.” David Markowitz,
Professor of Physics Emeritus, University of Connecticut.

 bytewrite® LLC

[bytewrite is a registered servicemark of Frederick Su/bytewrite LLC;
i.e., it has been successfully registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.]

"Ah! Writing is the water of life!
Without writing, there is no reading.
Without reading, there is scant imagination.
Without imagination, hope cannot reside in the human spirit."

"Physics seeks to solve the riddle of the Universe.
Literature attempts to solve the riddle of Life."

"The outdoors is my church. The trees, mountains,
and water define my soul and sustain it."

"Fine fiction is eclectic and, like fine food, delights the palate of the mind."
(I coined the phrase to indicate that some very fine fiction--
not celebrity banality--is coming from small presses.)

"Writing, at times, is an isolated, sometimes joyless, affair.
But, damn, it can sure enrich the human experience."

"I inhale life through the molecules of my soul."

"Work your mind. Work your body."

"Librarians are wardens of a den of thieves---
books that will steal your ignorance away."

"We were born into light.
We* will go out into light."

(*good people)

"Women are born halfway to heaven, men halfway to hell."

"The overarching distinction of the human species over every other animal species is . . . poetry."

"Life is the strangest thing. And within that strangest thing,
love is the strangest thing."

All of above by Frederick Su

Charles Sue, 65th Engineer Combat Battalion, 25th Infantry Division, at "Boomtown," Schofield Barracks, Territory of Hawaii, probably circa early 1942.

 Greatest Generation Includes
Asian Americans!

World War II was over. Standing in the shadow of that cataclysmic event, my cousins and I failed to appreciate the sacrifices of our parents' generation. I've since come to appreciate that generation more . . .

When my cousin Gwenne was interviewing her father for me, Charles told her that my other uncle, Robert Hiroshi Koreyasu, was a combat veteran of the famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team that had fought so valiantly in Europe. The 442nd suffered 90 percent casualties and two of those were Hiroshi's buddies.

My God! After all these years, I hadn't heard one peep from my uncles. They were heroes from within my own extended family! That generation didn't brag about their exploits.

Read more . . .

And a tribute to veterans at

The gods don't make worlds; they make music. 

Winner, "Multicultural Fiction" category, Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards 2002

Finalist, 2002 Benjamin Franklin Awards, Publishers Marketing Association, "Best New Voice--Fiction (first book by a new author)"

Finalist, The Binghamton (NY) University John Gardner Fiction Book Award 2001

Cover design and page layout consulting by Kate Weisel.


Excerpt, Chapter 20:


I sit and watch
the tiny rivulets of rain
stream down the windows.
Listen to the raindrops
drum their cadence
on the near sidewalk.
Seek the sounds of
soulfully smooth music
and gaze at the people walking by,
mere silhouettes in the
cold shroud of autumn's rain.

On this gray, lazy day
I wonder
how time has slipped away,
like evening rain
into the dark chasm of the night,
across the middle years
of my life.

And I think of you.


Stunning Color Flyer!

Click on the thumbnail to see the poster as a pdf file. Then, print the poster to hang in your store, library, or on your wall! Needs Acrobat Reader, which can be downloaded free from

Don't have room to post a flyer? Then print out the shelftalker!
(another pdf file)

"Of all the books we read in the Spring Semester (2005), I got the impression that yours made a more visceral and immediate connection for my students." Mark Pfeiffer, Instructor, The University of Georgia, Comp. Lit. Dept.

An American Sin
Now $10. Free shipping in U.S.

Send check and your address to:

bytewrite LLC
P.O. Box 2635
Bellingham, WA 98227

Indicate what you wish me to say in the autograph. I will pay sales tax for WA state residents.

"A stunning debut novel . . . An American Sin is GREAT!" Jim Barnes, Managing Editor,, sponsor of the IPPY Awards.

"I feel for Asian men. I've always thought they've had a hard journey to take here in America." Jeannine Joy Vance, author of Twins Found in a Box: Adapting to Adoption.

“An American Sin
rightly won an IPPY. The book will deeply affect everyone who reads it.”
Gary Worthington, author of India Treasures and India Fortunes.

 An American Sin depicts an Asian American man’s journey through America—across time and place, exploring issues of race, war, and identity.

From the racism he experienced as a youth in Nevada to the sin he committed in Vietnam, David Wong was driven by a need to fit in. This resulted in his murdering an old Mama-san and her granddaughter while on long-range patrol. "We couldn't handle excess baggage," he explains to his psychiatrist. "Our fear spawned a darkness in our hearts." It is an act that haunts him the rest of his days.

In counterpoint to Wong's character flaw, the novel also follows the poignant story of Stella Abramson, whose husband Jake--Wong's buddy--was killed in the Tet Offensive.

Their stories converge at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

Testimonials and Reviews:

Wow! It’s so powerful! And healing. That awful war was still an old wound in me. The book gave me a sense of hope for the future . . . and compassion for the vets I know.” Julie Ward.

“A very fine book. Su did not flinch at the gruesome aspects of combat, and he wrote with such skill that I was not repelled by the violence. I think those scenes are some of his best writing. Weaving them into a story about how those events impact Wong for the rest of his life puts them into perspective. The racial issues were also well expressed—considering the old writing class edict, ‘show don’t tell,’ he truly showed Dave Wong as an American and as a Chinese person. As for what that meant in an Asian war situation, he again showed it, poignantly, painfully.” Merilyn Wakefield, mwynhad, “books for friends, books by friends,” publisher of Chance, An Existential Horse Opera, by James Knisely, finalist, 2003 Washington State Book Awards.

"GREAT BOOK! An American Sin is real and raw. I wanted to climb into the story and make Wong feel better about himself! I hope this story is passed from generation to generation." Jeannine Joy Vance, author of Twins Found in a Box: Adapting to Adoption.

"This is a story of trauma, growth, and contemplation. It will give comfort, inspiration, and resolve to all who read it. The Vietnam experience touched so many lives that it changed the very heart of America. As a vehicle for describing Wong's experience on one level, [An American Sin] is a metaphor for the nation's own recovery on another. This is a fascinating work that is highly recommended as a thought-provoking contribution to anyone's philosophy of life." Major Andrew Firth,

"I'm honestly impressed by the caliber of Su's writing. The story of a quest for closure of post-traumatic stress disorder by a Chinese-American Vietnam veteran is absorbing and poignant. Su's first novel is an excellent read!" JoAnn Roe, Author of Frank Matsura, Frontier Photographer, and 13 other books.

"Su tells his story with much clarity and attention to detail. Thanks to him, we have a rare glimpse [through] the eyes of an Asian American who fought for the U.S. in Vietnam." HaeLee Kim,

"And though this ground (Vietnam) has been trod often in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, the perspective of Su’s main character offers the opportunity for fresh insight. Su is at his best when writing about the war. There is a raw honesty in these sections of the book. Wong’s quest had me turning the pages and wondering, Is he tilting at windmills, or will he slay a real dragon?" Michael Wilt, Nimble Spirit, The Literary Spirituality Review,

"Suspenseful and rich with exciting descriptions and characters." Margot Rowe, creative writing instructor.

"Su's novel will make you cringe, and weep--and think." Sara Stamey, author of Islands.

"I just wasn't ready to be brought to tears so many times!" Kate Weisel, Kate Weisel Creative Resource.

"A great book! Read it, especially if you're minority American!" Giovanni Saturay, Filipino American.

"The book is wonderfully written and deserves readership." Don Chandler, University Bookstore, Bellevue, WA.



$10.00 U.S. and free shipping!

ISBN 0-9711206-0-9
ISBN13: 978-0-9711206-0-0

335 pages, Trade Paperback


 A Step-by-Step Guide to Changing the Timing Belt on the 240 Volvo non-B230 Engine (i.e., 1976 - 1984)

Free! Visit

Save $150 by doing it yourself!
If you're a weekend mechanic, this job is within your expertise.
More detailed than the Haynes or Bentley manuals!


page 2


[Caveat: This booklet does not contain instructions for replacing
the overhead camshaft, intermediate shaft, or crankshaft oil seals.]

Other Writings by Frederick Su

Excerpt from book proposal on Nature as Epiphany: Essays on the Active Enjoyment of Nature 

From the interior of the inland forests, Highway 101 southbound on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state suddenly bursts into the gray-white expanse of the Pacific at Ruby Beach. It is like coming out of a tunnel, or coming out of the womb. The trees have given way to the cathedral ceiling of sky. Now there is more light--a flat, gray light that reflects off the clouds, the gray-green ocean, and the gray sand. The quiet of the forest has given way to winter's thunderous clap of surf, a surge-and-give that rolls over sand and driftwood, eating away at the coast to leave behind sea stacks--hard rock islands of the previous shoreline.

Such moments are little epiphanies. As a physicist turned writer, I find that they occur more and more for me in the natural world, on that edge of experience where the mind is alert with the possibilities of remembrance. The moments pass quickly enough, but I've learned to recognize them.




adventure travel: Backpacking the Grand Canyon

essays: Magic. The magic in life.
The White Pole. A salute to veterans

Writing is the Water of Life, the article.

  short story:
Light on the Water, where the natural environment wins over love. See it at Web del Sol, In Posse Review.



Logan Canyon (Fall 1968

Biography and contact

© 1999-2022 by Frederick Su. All rights reserved.

bytewrite is a registered servicemark of Frederick Su.

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