Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-vi

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-18

What does it mean to be an Asian American writer? Is it the same as being a writer of Asian descent? Or just a writer? As the epigraphs to this introduction demonstrate, the authors interviewed in this collection have remarkably different literary compulsions. Even more varied are their styles, their sensibilities, and the settings of their stories, which include...

“Where do we live now—here or there?”

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 19

read more

Jessica Hagedorn: Interview by Emily Porcincula Lawsin

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-39

I met Jessica Hagedorn for the first time when I was in elementary school. I met her, not in the physical sense, but in a way that an impressionable young Filipina could never forget: in the Seattle Public Library. Every day after school, my parents used to force my brother and me to go to the library near...

read more

Paul Stephen Lim: Interview by King-Kok Cheung

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 40-57

I saw Paul Stephen Lim’s play Mother Tongue when it was staged by the East West Players in 1988. I was so impressed by its use of English composition lessons to introduce flashbacks and to advance the plot, its suspenseful revelation of the mother’s tragic story, and its bold treatment of homoerotic...

read more

S. P. Somtow: Interview by Rahpee Thongthiraj

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 58-68

A Thai European American writer, S. P. Somtow was born in Thailand in 1952. He has written books ranging from science fiction to fantasy and horror novels. He grew up in various European countries and was educated at Eton and Cambridge, where he received his M.A. in English and music. Somtow first made his name as a postserialist composer; his...

read more

Meena Alexander: Interview by Zainab Ali and Dharini Rasiah

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 69-91

Born in India, raised in India and North Africa, educated in England, and now living in New York, Meena Alexander has clearly lived the Indian diasporic experience. As this interview reveals, her work parallels the transitory nature of her life, moving from poetry to prose, fiction to memoirs, essays to...

read more

Myung Mi Kim: Interview by James Kyung-Jin Lee

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 92-104

Myung Mi Kim was an hour late to an early evening poetry reading in February 1996, one that celebrated the release of The Bounty. She was held up in the infamous Los Angeles rush-hour traffic. When she finally arrived, a few in the audience had gone home, but a good twenty or so remained—...

read more

Le Ly Hayslip: Interview by Khanh Ho

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 105-119

Le Ly Hayslip’s house is a mess. A jumble of brochures, books, and videotapes lies strewn across her coffee table. A map of Vietnam dangles precariously from the Navajo-white wall. A scribbled thank-you note from Oliver Stone floats among old newspapers and fading photographs. Red ants...

“We came into the circle of recovery”

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 121

read more

Janice Mirikitani: Interview by Grace Kyungwon Hong

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 123-139

I first met Janice Mirikitani fifteen minutes before one of Glide Church’s Sunday Celebrations. Earlier that morning, the church’s choir director, who had been a close friend of Mirikitani and her husband, the Reverend Cecil Williams, had died of a sudden heart attack. Despite the terrible loss,...

read more

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni: Interview by Dharini Rasiah

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 140-153

Chitra Divakaruni and I met five years ago when we were both involved in organizations that addressed the concerns of South Asian American and South Asian immigrant women. She contributed to an anthology I coedited, Our Feet Walk the Sky, and we were both involved in Maitri and Narika,...

read more

Al Robles: Interview by Darlene Rodrigues

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 154-172

Nothing escapes Al Robles, neither the mundane nor the banal, neither the poor nor the rich. Not even nature. Robles’ first published collection of poetry, Rappin’ with Ten Thousand Carabaos in the Dark (1996), is the result of a life effused with this gift of observation and sensitivity to the surrounding...

read more

Philip Kan Gotanda: Interview by Robert B. Ito

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 173-185

Philip Kan Gotanda began his career as a playwright in 1979 with The Avocado Kid, a rock musical adaptation of the Japanese fairy tale Momotaro. Since then he has written numerous plays dealing with the Japanese American experience, including A Song for a Nisei Fisherman, The Dream of Kitamura,...

“It’s like putting us in the Chinese laundries”

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 187

read more

David Wong Louie: Interview by Stacey Yukari Hirose

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 189-214

Taking a sip of water from a plastic bottle, David Wong Louie watched patiently as I set up my tape recording equipment in his office for the third time. My first two interviews with him—together over three hours long—were rendered virtually unusable owing to technical difficulties with the recorder....

read more

Gish Jen: Interview by Rachel Lee

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 215-232

Gish Jen won the respect of a wide audience with her first novel, Typical American (1991), which was shortlisted for the National Book Critics’ Circle Award. In this novel, as in her published short stories, Jen broadens the definition of Asian American literature by writing beyond its “typical” themes of...

read more

Russell Leong: Interview by Robert B. Ito

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 233-251

Russell Leong was born in San Francisco’s Chinatown in 1950. He began his writing career with “Threads,” in Kai-yu Hsu’s Asian-American Authors (1972), and “Rough Notes for Mantos,” in Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers (1974). Since then, his criticism, fiction, and poetry...

read more

Amy Uyematsu: Interview by Scott Kurashige

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 253-269

Amy Uyematsu’s genesis as a writer can be traced to the early days of the Asian American movement. In the late sixties and early seventies, this Sansei author became widely known among activists for her biting polemic “The Emergence of Yellow Power in America.” Drawing on both her experience...

read more

Li-Young Lee: Interview by James Kyung-Jin Lee

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 270-280

Li-Young Lee grasps for what is seemingly palpable yet ultimately elusive—to “speak” to another. This struggle to communicate first begins with a conscious effort to listen. Lee hears the voice of memory, a past that fuses the familial with the political. His biography has become almost folkloric: son...

“I’m on the side of literature”

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 281

read more

Wendy Law-Yone: Interview by Nancy Yoo and Tamara Ho

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 283-302

Born in Burma (now called Myanmar) at the end of almost a century of British colonialism, Wendy Law-Yone is an American author of Asian descent who conveys a particularly postcolonial and polyglot sensibility in her writing. Her father, Edward M. Law-Yone, was a notable figure of...

read more

Gary Pak: Interview by Brenda Kwon

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 303-319

Growing up in Hawai‘i is an experience that is often difficult to explain, although Gary Pak does a pretty good job. The way he sees it, there are racial divisions there like anywhere else, but you don’t have to go around with your ethnicity “on...

read more

Karen Tei Yamashita: Interview by Michael S. Murashige

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 320-342

From the time I was young, Gardena, California, has been associated with Japanese Americans. I can recall weekend trips to my cousins’ house, set midway down a cul-de-sac inhabited almost exclusively by JA folk. The markets in town actually...

read more

Hisaye Yamamoto and Wakako Yamauchi: Interview by King-Kok Cheung

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 343-382

A lasting friendship between two acclaimed Nisei writers, Hisaye Yamamoto and Wakako Yamauchi, blossomed in the desert of Poston, Arizona, where the two women were interned during World War II. Yamamoto, author of Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories (1988), received the...

Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 383-386

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 387-402