Contesting Genres in Contemporary Asian American Fiction by B. Huang

By B. Huang

This ebook solutions fresh calls in feedback and conception to ascertain the impact of style on modern Asian American literary production.  Drawing on cultural theories of illustration, social theories of identification, and poststructuralist style thought, this learn indicates how well known prose fictions have critically restricted the advance of Asian American literary aesthetics. 

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Structured by a series of analepses, the memoir is a compilation of subjective memories, reflections, and interpretations that together form a composite portrait of the writer’s sense of selfhood. Thus, the memoir is both formally and figuratively befitting of a narrative that uncovers suppressed or erased aspects of the immigrant’s identity in his project of American self-fashioning. Yet, while its nonlinear structure might lend the genre a deconstructionist bent, it is every bit as susceptible to the coercive power of the laws of genre.

While readers might be seduced to view Sunny’s voluntary exile to the borders of Bedley Run’s whitewashed setting as a form of resistance, Lee does not allow for such a generic interpretive move. Sunny’s exile September 6, 2010 16:6 MAC-US/HANG Page-42 9780230108318_03_ch01 G e n e r i c SU I G E N E R I S 43 is both resistance and abjection, precisely in the same way that Kkutaeh’s appeals for suicide were. It is thus the actions of women that disrupt Hata’s carefully constructed illusion of serene subjectivity.

The photographs prove inadequate not only for providing a clear portrait of Vietnam, but also for reconstructing a coherent history of the narrator’s parents. Hence, they—and the murky portraits of the parents and grandparents they offer—defy rather than fulfill the autobiographic imperative in immigrant narratives. Parents conventionally represent the “old country” in such narratives, which allows a drama of generational and cultural conflicts to unfold between the immigrant generation and their children.

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