In Her Mother's House: The Politics of Asian American Mother-Daughter Writing

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Unwilling to see Asian American women silenced beneath the noisy discourses of feminists, cultural nationalists, and Eurocentric historians, Wendy Ho turns to specific spoken stories of mothers and daughters. Against reductive tendencies of scholarship, she places her own conversations with her China-born grandmother and her U.S.-born mother and her own readings of other Asian American women writers. She finds in the writings of Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, and Fae Myenne Ng not only complex mother-daughter ...
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Overview

Unwilling to see Asian American women silenced beneath the noisy discourses of feminists, cultural nationalists, and Eurocentric historians, Wendy Ho turns to specific spoken stories of mothers and daughters. Against reductive tendencies of scholarship, she places her own conversations with her China-born grandmother and her U.S.-born mother and her own readings of other Asian American women writers. She finds in the writings of Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, and Fae Myenne Ng not only complex mother-daughter relationships but many-faceted relationships to fathers, family, community, and culture. Always resisting the simplistic explanations, In Her Mother's House brings Asian American women's experience as mothers and daughters to the forefront of gender and ethnicity.
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Editorial Reviews

Choice
Though Ho has written numerous articles on similar topics, hers is the first book to devote ambitious and in-depth study to this subject. Taking Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior, Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, and Fae Myenne Ng's Bone as her basis, the author looks at the 'talking-story' tradition, which is mainly about mothers and daughters and secondly about fathers and daughters. She offers close readings and detailed analyses and interpretations of these books.
Furthermore, she not only gives critical perspectives on Asian (mainly Chinese) Americans, she also presents the history of Chinese immigration to the US and the treatment and images of immigrant Chinese women and men. The book is well-researched with abundant notes and a long list of references. It should be of particular interest to scholars in Asian American studies and women's studies at the upper-division undergraduate level and above.
— Y.L Walls, (Simon Fraser University)
American Studies International
This book contains [the] author's personal experiences as well as well-researched factual accounts. Together, Ho delivers a critical text that opens Asian American mother-daughter writing to intricately intertwined racial, gender and class discussion.... This is a well-researched book that shows originality and scholarship. It is recommended for students, teachers as well as to those who are interested to examine Asian American mother-daughter writing from a scholastic standpoint.
— Ivy Liu Manley, (University of California, Berkeley)
Judith Newton
Professor Ho's book is timely and significant. It will make an important contribution to the field of Chinese American Studies and in teasing out multiple intersections of gender, race, and class, an equally significant contribution to feminist work on gender and family relations.
Valerie Matsumoto
Professor Ho's exploration of 'talk-story' as both a creative process and historical legacy makes clear the potential for misunderstanding as well as for connection and shows how meeting-ground can also become battle-ground. Hers is a complex and hopeful reading, not a romanticized one.
CHOICE - Y. L. Walls
Though Ho has written numerous articles on similar topics, hers is the first book to devote ambitious and in-depth study to this subject. Taking Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior, Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club, and Fae Myenne Ng's Bone as her basis, the author looks at the 'talking-story' tradition, which is mainly about mothers and daughters and secondly about fathers and daughters. She offers close readings and detailed analyses and interpretations of these books.
Furthermore, she not only gives critical perspectives on Asian (mainly Chinese) Americans, she also presents the history of Chinese immigration to the US and the treatment and images of immigrant Chinese women and men. The book is well-researched with abundant notes and a long list of references. It should be of particular interest to scholars in Asian American studies and women's studies at the upper-division undergraduate level and above.
American Studies International - Ivy Liu Manley
This book contains [the] author's personal experiences as well as well-researched factual accounts. Together, Ho delivers a critical text that opens Asian American mother-daughter writing to intricately intertwined racial, gender and class discussion.... This is a well-researched book that shows originality and scholarship. It is recommended for students, teachers as well as to those who are interested to examine Asian American mother-daughter writing from a scholastic standpoint.
Patricia Chu
Touching, insightful, and knowledgeable. Wendy Ho combines sympathetic understanding of women's perspectives within a well researched account of those texts social and historical contexts.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Wendy Ho teaches at the University of California, Davis
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments 9
1 Beneath the Pirie Mango Tree: The Self Talking-Story about Mothers and Daughters 11
2 Feminist Recovery and Reception: Chinese American Mother-Daughter Stories 31
3 The Traffic in Women: Migration and Representation 63
4 Outlaw Brotherhood: Cultural Nationalism and the Politics of Mother-Daughter Discourses 85
5 Desire in the Desert: The Self Talking-Story in Maxine Hong Kingston's Mother-Daughter Stories 117
6 Losing Your Innocence But Not Your Hope: Amy Tan's Joy Luck Mothers and Coca-Cola Daughters 149
7 The Heart Never Travels: Fathers in the Mother-Daughter Stories of Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan, and Fae Myenne Ng 195
8 Coda: The Political Heart of the Matter 233
References 245
Index 275
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