Asian American Fictional Worlds
Publication Year: 2014
Published by: NYU Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
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Let me begin with my deepest apologies for any oversights or omissions. My journey into the labyrinthine world of Asian American literature was initiated by Shirley Geok-lin Lim; this book could not have been possible without her tireless mentorship and her galvanizing presence...
Introduction: The Many Storytellers of Asian American Fiction
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Asian American literature is traditionally understood as a body of texts written in English that depicts a specific social history in which individuals of various ethnicities have faced discrimination due to perceptions and laws that designated them as aliens.1 Common narratives involve...
1. White Flight, White Narration: Suburban Deviancies in Chang-rae Lee’s Aloft
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Racial Asymmetries begins with one obvious starting point for Asian American studies: the experience of racial exclusion under the guise of white hegemony. The large-scale racial rubric constituting the Asian American as an outsider has been in place at least since 1917, when the...
2. When the Minor Becomes Major: Asian American Literary California, Chicano Narration, and Sesshu Foster’s Atomik Aztex
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This chapter shifts from the white-Asian paradigm discussed in the first chapter to an investigation of how and why Asian American writers include other racial minority groups in their fictional worlds. Chapter 1 called attention to a racial paradigm that substantively undergirds Asian...
3. The Incomplete Biography in the Post–Civil Rights Era: Narrating Imagined Lives in Sigrid Nunez’s Fictions
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In this chapter, I take a slightly different direction from those that appeared earlier by focusing on one writer, Sigrid Nunez, and her deployment of biographical representation. Nunez undermines any expectations that might arise, for example, due to marketplace pressures or from...
4. Comparative Colonial Narration: Conquest and Consumption in Sabina Murray’s Fictions
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Racial Asymmetries pushes critics to reconsider the relationships among the Asian American writer, the narrator and narrative perspective, and the fictional world. On the one hand, each chapter explores a different facet of narrational refraction that troubles the link between...
5. Impossible Narration: Racial Analogies and Asian American Speculative Fictions
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This chapter presents perhaps the most difficult epistemological questions for cultural criticism because it engages the political import and aesthetic qualities of Asian American speculative fictions. Such chimerical representations result in what the literary critic Darko Suvin...
Coda: Fiction Unbound
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Asian American fiction boasts a long and rich lineage, at least over a century long; its body of texts contains a multitude of unforgettable characters and compelling themes. Within this impressive archive, writers often produce narratives imbued with autobiographical and auto-ethnographic...
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About the Author
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Page Count: 297
Publication Year: 2014