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Imagining the Nation: Asian American Literature and Cultural Consent

Overview

Since the 1970s, when Maxine Hong Kingston began publishing her prize-winning books, we have seen an explosive growth in Asian American literature, a literature that has won both popular and critical acclaim. Literary anthologies and critical studies attest to a growing academic interest in the field. This book seeks to identify the forces behind this literary emergence and to explore both the unique place of Asian Americans in American culture and what that place says about the way Americanness is defined. ...
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Overview

Since the 1970s, when Maxine Hong Kingston began publishing her prize-winning books, we have seen an explosive growth in Asian American literature, a literature that has won both popular and critical acclaim. Literary anthologies and critical studies attest to a growing academic interest in the field. This book seeks to identify the forces behind this literary emergence and to explore both the unique place of Asian Americans in American culture and what that place says about the way Americanness is defined. Imagining the Nation integrates a fine appreciation of the formal features of Asian American literature with the conflict and convergence among different reading communities and the dilemma of ethnic intellectuals caught in the process of their institutionalization. By articulating Asian American structures of feeling across the nexus of East and West, black and white, nation and diaspora, the book both sets out a new terrain for Asian American literary culture and significantly strengthens the multiculturalist challenge to the American canon.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a well-researched, precisely written text that contributes much to the fields of ethnic studies, Asian American studies, and literary criticism. The author demonstrates intellectual breadth and versatility as he attempts to map an Asian American corpus of literature. . . . A rich and valuable work."—American Studies

"This is an excellent study of Asian American narratives . . . a shrewdly argued scholarly achievement."—Choice

"Li provides an original, penetrating, and sophisticated analysisi of canon-formation, literarty representation, and ethnic agency that makes an importatn contribution ot the field."—Journal of Asian American Studies

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804741309
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2000
  • Series: Asian America Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

David Leiwei Li is Collins Professor of the Humanities at the University of Oregon.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Alienation, Abjection, and Asian American Citizenship 1
Pt. I Emergence
1 Aiiieeeee! and the Predicament of Asian American Articulation 21
2 Can Maxine Hong Kingston Speak? The Contingency of The Woman Warrior 44
Pt. II Claiming America
3 Canon, Collaboration, and the Corporeality of Culture 65
4 American Romances, Immigrant Incarnations 91
Pt. III Whither Asia
5 Genes, Generation, and Geospiritual Belongings 111
6 Eccentric Homes: Topography, Pedagogy, and Memory 126
Pt. IV Representation Reconsidered
7 The Look, the Act, the Transvestic, and the Transpirational Asian 153
8 Ethnic Agency and the Challenge of Representation 174
Conclusion: Asian American Identity in Difference and Diaspora 185
Notes 207
Works Cited 235
Index 253
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