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Banana Bending

Asian-Australian and Asian-Canadian Literatures

Tseen-ling Khoo

Publication Year: 2003

The book examines the limits and possibilities for these diasporic literatures in multicultural societies and their placement in relation to national literatures.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU


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pp. v-vi


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pp. vii-viii

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pp. 1-12

Banana Bending is concerned with mapping, interrogating, and creating critical pathways for diasporic Asian literary studies. The book argues that in order to examine the disciplines and production of Asian-Canadian and Asian-Australian literatures, work needs to be considered within layers of nation, community, and the gendered self. Examining these layers enables a rigorous interrogation...

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1. "A Chink in the Armour": Asian-Australian Space

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pp. 13-34

The 'visibility' of Asian-Austrahan communities has increased in the past two decades, with extended emphasis on Australia's potential trading relationships with Asia and controversies associated with various right-wing factions in the political environment In 1996, an article in the Australian Magazine by former One Nation adviser John Pasquarelli details the 'chinks' in One Nation...

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2. "Spitting in the Soup": Asian-Canadian Space

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pp. 35-54

Canada's recognition of two official languages and the policy of multiculturalism seem to point to an already heightened government awareness of, and engagement with, the diversity of its national population that does not yet seem to prevail in Australia Multiculturalism in Canada, as elsewhere, can be interpreted as a strategy...

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3. Colouring In: Possibilities of Nationalism in Diaspora

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pp. 55-88

From historical to contemporary times, representations of Australian and Canadian citizens or national 'bodies' in literature are indelibly white and generally male: variations on the figures of 'tamers of wild frontiers'. These traditional images disavow and disallow Asian faces and bodies in national semiotic representations. If Asian...

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4. "At Home in Your Embarrassment": Boundaries of Community and Ethnicity

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pp. 89-118

Inevitably tied up in discussions about representation and racial minority literatures are issues of community. This is not to say that 'community' is an issue but to highlight the overlapping, sometimes contradictory, perspectives of creative writers, their perceived audiences, and literary critics. While previous chapters outlined negotiations of cultural meaning within larger structures of diaspora...

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5. Patriotism, War, and Other National Desires: Asian Masculinities in Progress

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pp. 119-148

Tongue-m-cheek, Sau-hng Wong declared 1991 the Year of the Asian-American Man because of the number of successful hterary publications by Asian-American men and the appearance of "an especially intriguing cultural artifact" ("Subverting"1), the Asia Pacific Islander Men calendar that showcased the...

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6. Emerging Extravagance in Diasporic Asian Women's Writing

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pp. 149-172

While literature by and about hyphenated Asian masculinities is only now garnering serious theoretical attention, Asian diasporic women's writing has developed into a recognizable body of work More specifically, it is Chinese women's stories that have become the most associated with 'Asian women's literature' Characterised by authors such as Jung Chang, Amy Tan, and Maxine Hong Kingston, the most visible works are those written...

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pp. 173-184

It is crucial at this point m the growth of diasporic Asian literatures and their criticism to emphasise the Australian and Canadian contexts in which particular works operate. This act of demarcation is a deliberate resistance to the threats posed by the continual development and dominance of Asian-American studies, as well as the danger of buying into myths of'diasporic community'. While it is undeniable that Asian-American studies and its...


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pp. 185-196


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pp. 197-216


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pp. 217-224

E-ISBN-13: 9789882200333
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622096301

Page Count: 232
Publication Year: 2003