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In the mid-1960s, Winberg Chai, a young academic and the son of Chinese immigrants, married an Irish-American artist. In Hapa Girl ("hapa" is Hawaiian for "mixed") their daughter tells the story of this loving family as they moved from Southern California to New York to a South Dakota farm by the 1980s. In their new Midwestern home, the family finds itself the object of unwelcome attention, which swiftly escalates to violence. The Chais are suddenly socially isolated and barely able to cope with the tension that arises from daily incidents of racial animosity, including random acts of cruelty.

May-lee Chai's memoir ends in China, where she arrives just in time to witness a riot and demonstrations. Here she realizes that the rural Americans' "fears of change, of economic uncertainty, of racial anxiety, of the unknowable future compared to the known past were the same as China's. And I realized finally that it had not been my fault."

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
  2. pp. iii-v
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Prologue
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. 1. The Wearing of the Green
  2. pp. 3-7
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  1. 2. The Sexy Artist Meets the Boy from New York City
  2. pp. 8-18
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  1. 3. How to Charm a Mother-in-Law
  2. pp. 19-25
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  1. 4. California Dreamin’
  2. pp. 26-35
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  1. 5. The Banana
  2. pp. 36-42
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  1. 6. The Banana’s Revenge
  2. pp. 43-47
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  1. 7. Autumn in the Country
  2. pp. 48-56
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  1. 8. Hunting Season
  2. pp. 57-8
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  1. 9. The Little Things
  2. pp. 9-75
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  1. 10. The Closet
  2. pp. 76-81
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  1. 11. My Last Confession
  2. pp. 82-91
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  1. 12. Bugs
  2. pp. 92-96
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  1. 13. The Fall of the Prince
  2. pp. 97-104
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  1. Photo gallery follows page 104
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  1. 14. The Jade Tree
  2. pp. 105-113
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  1. 15. The Nights of Many Prayers
  2. pp. 114-117
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  1. 16. What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You
  2. pp. 118-124
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  1. 17. Stephen King High
  2. pp. 125-128
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  1. 18. Barbarians
  2. pp. 129-135
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  1. 19. Glamour Puss
  2. pp. 136-145
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  1. 20. The Cannibals
  2. pp. 146-156
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  1. 21. The Fine Art of Denial
  2. pp. 157-158
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  1. 22. The Lone Apache
  2. pp. 159-167
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  1. 23. My Mother’s Irish Gang
  2. pp. 168-182
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  1. 24. China’s Revolutions
  2. pp. 183-194
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  1. 25. The End of Staring
  2. pp. 195-197
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  1. 26. Fear Itself
  2. pp. 198-200
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  1. 27. The Family Trees
  2. pp. 201-207
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. 209-211
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781592136179
Related ISBN
9781592136162
MARC Record
OCLC
166420839
Pages
231
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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