LitDaily

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Posts Tagged ‘Assimilation’

Asian American Literature

Posted by litdaily on November 8, 2010

One student in my Asian American studies class made an interesting comment regarding the “nature” of Asian American literature – the essence, he asserted, of this body of work is simply assimilation.  Coughing uncomfortably, he continued to explain that Asian American literature seems to only be constituted by themes of assimilation and integration into the American national and/or literary framework.  His discomfort in isolating the theme of assimilation stemmed from the previous year, when a professor chided him for narrowly defining the parameters of Asian American literature.

It’s difficult to exactly articulate the difference between Asian American literature and American literature in general.  Do the thematic differences keep Asian American literature from being included in American literature? If we elide the thematic differences, will Asian American literature suffer from elements of historical amnesia?

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Chinese Americans in Literature…more than just The Woman Warrior and The Joyluck Club

Posted by litdaily on August 24, 2010

Maylene Tang pays her respects to the first popular novel writer of Chinese American descent, Winnifred Eaton, who was born on August 21, 1875.  Writing under the pen name of Onoto Watanna, she passed herself off as Japanese American. She and her sister, known as Sui Sin Far, were biracial Chinese and English…more >>

While books like Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior and Amy Tan’s popular novel, The Joy Luck Club brought Chinese American literature into the limelight by discussing assimilation and gender, earlier writers portrayed the difficulties of belonging in a black/white America where “Chinese” meant being neither white nor black.

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