This article examines the ways in which Chang-rae Lee's Native Speaker (1995) interrogates the ideological and cultural consent that American citizenship uncompromisingly demands of its Asian American and immigrant constituents. The absence of Asian Americans in political life is reflected in Asian American fiction, which has, until recently, largely adhered to the formula of family dramas that deal with the crisis of assimilation within the domestic sphere. Huang argues that Native Speaker provides a fresh perspective to the corpus through his portrayal of an Asian American politician, a figure previously unseen in the Asian American literary imagination. Through a close analysis of Lee's nuanced dramatization of ethnic politics in the dynamic of public theater of electoral politics, Huang shows the ways in which Lee exposes the representational predicaments faced by Asian American politicians, and by ethnic politicians more generally.


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pp. 243-269
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