Abstract

Abstract:

Since 1965, Asian American authors have been key mediators of science fictionality, defined as a postwar fantasy that associates endless, industrial-led economic expansion with racialized groups of upwardly mobile professionals. This status is a consequence of the occupational concentration of Asian immigrants into professional-managerial careers, especially in scientific and technical fields: a phenomenon that can be traced back to the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act. Reading Maxine Hong Kingston's Woman Warrior (1976) along with the debut works of recent Chinese American women writers, including Ling Ma's Severance (2018), this article describes a dialectic of science fictionality and post-65 Asian American literature in which the latter develops autopoetic tendencies that register occupational concentration in genre, theme, characterization, and trope. This reorientation of post-65 Asian American literary history to the material conditions of science fictionality, rather than ethnic self-expression, has implications not only for understanding that history but also for generalized periodizations of contemporary US literature like the “genre turn,” which risk eliding the specificity of minority literary histories.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1468-4365
Print ISSN
0896-7148
Pages
pp. 75-102
Launched on MUSE
2021-07-10
Open Access
No
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