Best Asian American Literary Criticism Books

Here you will get Best Asian American Literary Criticism Books For you.This is an up-to-date list of recommended books.

1. Scenes of Subjection: Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America (Race and American Culture)

Author: by Saidiya V. Hartman
Published at: Oxford University Press; 1st edition (September 4, 1997)
ISBN: 978-0195089844

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In this provocative and original exploration of racial subjugation during slavery and its aftermath, Saidiya Hartman illumines the forms of terror and resistance that shaped black identity. Scenes of Subjection examines the forms of domination that usually go undetected; in particular, the encroachments of power that take place through notions of humanity, enjoyment, protection, rights, and consent.

By looking at slave narratives, plantation diaries, popular theater, slave performance, freedmen’s primers, and legal cases, Hartman investigates a wide variety of “scenes” ranging from the auction block and minstrel show to the staging of the self-possessed and rights-bearing individual of freedom.

While attentive to the performance of power-the terrible spectacles of slaveholders’ dominion and the innocent amusements designed to abase and pacify the enslaved-and the entanglements of pleasure and terror in these displays of mastery, Hartman also examines the possibilities for resistance, redress and transformation embodied in black performance and everyday practice.

2. The Melancholy of Race: Psychoanalysis, Assimilation, and Hidden Grief (Race and American Culture)

Author: by Anne Anlin Cheng
Published at: Oxford University Press; Revised edition (December 20, 2001)
ISBN: 978-0195151626

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In this groundbreaking, interdisciplinary study Anne Anlin Cheng argues that we have to understand racial grief not only as the result of racism but also as a foundation for racial identity. The Melancholy of Race proposes that racial identification is itself already a melancholic act-a social category that is imaginatively supported through a dynamic of loss and compensation, by which the racial other is at once rejected and retained.

Using psychoanalytic theories on mourning and melancholia as inroads into her subject, Cheng offers a closely observed and carefully reasoned account of the minority experience as expressed in works of art by, and about, Asian-Americans and African-Americans. She argues that the racial minority and dominant American culture both suffer from racial melancholia and that this insight is crucial to a productive reimagining of progressive politics.

Her discussion ranges from “Flower Drum Song” to “M. Butterfly,” Brown v. Board of Education to Anna Deavere Smith’s “Twilight,” and Invisible Man to The Woman Warrior, in the process demonstrating that racial melancholia permeates our fantasies of citizenship, assimilation, and social health.

3. Ornamentalism

Author: by Anne Anlin Cheng
Published at: Oxford University Press; Illustrated edition (January 18, 2019)
ISBN: 978-0190604615

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Focusing on the cultural and philosophic conflation between the “oriental” and the “ornamental,” Ornamentalism offers an original and sustained theory about Asiatic femininity in western culture. This study pushes our vocabulary about the woman of color past the usual platitudes about objectification and past the critique of Orientalism in order to formulate a fresher and sharper understanding of the representation, circulation, and ontology of Asiatic femininity.

This book alters the foundational terms of racialized femininity by allowing us to conceptualize race and gender without being solely beholden to flesh or skin. Tracing a direct link between the making of Asiatic femininity and a technological history of synthetic personhood in the West from the nineteenth to the twenty-first century, Ornamentalism demonstrates how the construction of modern personhood in the multiple realms of law, culture, and art has been surprisingly indebted to this very marginal figure and places Asian femininity at the center of an entire epistemology of race.

4. Only What We Could Carry: The Japanese American Internment Experience

Author: by Lawson Fusao Inada
Published at: Heyday; First Edition (April 1, 2014)
ISBN: 978-1890771300

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In the wake of wartime panic that followed the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, more than 100,000 Japanese Americans residing along the West Coast of the United States were uprooted from their homes and their communities and banished to internment camps throughout the country.

Through personal documents, art, and propaganda, Only What We Could Carry expresses through words, art, and haunting recollections, the fear, confusion and anger of the camp experience. The only anthology of its kind, Only What We Could Carry is an emotional and intellectual testament to the dignity, spirit and strength of the Japanese American internees.

5. Monstrous Intimacies: Making Post-Slavery Subjects (Perverse Modernities)

Author: by Christina Sharpe
Published at: Duke University Press Books; Illustrated edition (August 31, 2010)
ISBN: 978-0822346098

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Arguing that the fundamental, familiar, sexual violence of slavery and racialized subjugation have continued to shape black and white subjectivities into the present, Christina Sharpe interprets African diasporic and Black Atlantic visual and literary texts that address those monstrous intimacies and their repetition as constitutive of post-slavery subjectivity.

Her illuminating readings juxtapose Frederick Douglass’s narrative of witnessing the brutal beating of his Aunt Hester with Essie Mae Washington-Williams’s declaration of freedom in Dear Senator: A Memoir by the Daughter of Strom Thurmond, as well as the generational genital fantasies depicted in Gayl Jones’s novel Corregidora with a firsthand account of such monstrous intimacies in the journals of an antebellum South Carolina senator, slaveholder, and vocal critic of miscegenation.

Sharpe explores the South Africanborn writer Bessie Head’s novel Maruabout race, power, and liberation in Botswanain light of the history of the KhoiSan woman Saartje Baartman, who was displayed in Europe as the Hottentot Venus in the nineteenth century. Reading Isaac Julien’s film The Attendant, Sharpe takes up issues of representation, slavery, and the sadomasochism of everyday black life.

6. Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics

Author: by Lisa Lowe
Published at: Duke University Press Books (October 21, 1996)
ISBN: 978-0822318644

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In Immigrant Acts, Lisa Lowe argues that understanding Asian immigration to the United States is fundamental to understanding the racialized economic and political foundations of the nation. Lowe discusses the contradictions whereby Asians have been included in the workplaces and markets of the U.S.

Nation-state, yet, through exclusion laws and bars from citizenship, have been distanced from the terrain of national culture. Lowe argues that a national memory haunts the conception of Asian American, persisting beyond the repeal of individual laws and sustained by U.S.

Wars in Asia, in which the Asian is seen as the perpetual immigrant, as the foreigner-within. In Immigrant Acts, she argues that rather than attesting to the absorption of cultural difference into the universality of the national political sphere, the Asian immigrantat odds with the cultural, racial, and linguistic forms of the nationdisplaces the temporality of assimilation.

Distance from the American national culture constitutes Asian American culture as an alternative site that produces cultural forms materially and aesthetically in contradiction with the institutions of citizenship and national identity. Rather than a sign of a failed integration of Asians into the American cultural sphere, this critique preserves and opens up different possibilities for political practice and coalition across racial and national borders.

7. Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories. Revised and Updated with four new stories.

Author: by Hisaye Yamamoto
Published at: Rutgers University Press; Revised and Expanded ed. edition (May 10, 2001)
ISBN: 978-0813529530

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Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories brings together nineteen stories that span Hisaye Yamamoto’s forty-year career. It was her first book to be published in the United States. Yamamoto’s themes include the cultural conflicts between the first generation, the Issei, and their children, the Nisei; coping with prejudice; and the World War II internment of Japanese Americans.

In addition to the contents of the original volume, this edition brings back into print the following works: – Death Rides the Rails to Poston – Eucalyptus – A Fire in Fontana – Florentine Gardens

8. Nation and Narration

Author: by Homi K. Bhabha
Published at: Routledge; 1st edition (June 14, 1990)
ISBN: 978-0415014830

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Bhabha, in his preface, writes ‘Nations, like narratives, lose their origins in the myths of time and only fully encounter their horizons in the mind’s eye’.From this seemingly impossibly metaphorical beginning, this volume confronts the realities of the concept of nationhood as it is lived and the profound ambivalence of language as it is written.

From Gillian Beer’s reading of Virginia Woolf, Rachel Bowlby’s cultural history of Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Francis Mulhern’s study of Leaviste’s ‘English ethics’; to Doris Sommer’s study of the ‘magical realism’ of Latin American fiction and Sneja Gunew’s analysis of Australian writing, Nation and Narration is a celebration of the fact that English is no longer an English national consciousness, which is not nationalist, but is the only thing that will give us an international dimension.

9. But Still, Like Air, I'll Rise: New Asian American Plays

Author: by Velina Hasu Houston
Published at: Temple University Press (May 30, 1997)
ISBN: 978-1566395380

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Contains eleven plays that speak in the ‘hybridized, unique American voices of Asian descent and often dissent.’ This title features plays that testify to the rich complexity of Asian-American experience. It also demonstrates the different styles and thematic concerns of the individual playwrights.

10. How Do I Begin?: A Hmong American Literary Anthology (Hmong American Writers' Circle)

Author: by The Hmong American Writers' Circle
Published at: Heyday; Advance Uncorrected Proof edition (August 1, 2011)
ISBN: 978-1597141505

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Hmong history and culture can be found in the form of oral stories, oral poetry, textile art, and music but there is no written account of Hmong life, by a Hmong hand, passed down through the centuries. As an undergraduate, Burlee Vang experienced this void when he received valuable advice from his English professor: Write about your people.

That story has not been told. If you don’t, who will?How Do I Begin? Is the struggle to preserve on paper the Hmong American experience. In this anthology, readers will find elaborate soul-calling ceremonies, a woman questioning the seeming tyranny of her parents and future in-laws, the temptation of gangs and drugs, and the shame and embarrassment of being different in a culture that obsessively values homogeneity.

Some pieces revisit the ghosts of war. Others lament the loss of a country. Many offer glimpses into intergenerational tensions exacerbated by the differences in Hmong and American culture.How Do I Begin? Signifies a turning point for the Hmong community, a group of people who have persevered through war, persecution, and exile.

11. CliffsNotes on Tan's The Joy Luck Club (Cliffsnotes Literature Guides)

Author: by Laurie Neu Rozakis
Published at: Cliffs Notes; 1st edition (September 14, 1994)
ISBN: 978-0822006855

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The original CliffsNotes study guides offer expert commentary on major themes, plots, characters, literary devices, and historical background. The latest generation of titles in this series also feature glossaries and visual elements that complement the classic, familiar format. Explore how generational and cultural differences can divideand then uniteimmigrant mothers and their American-born daughters as you study CliffsNotes on The Joy Luck Club.

This novel describes the lives of four women, who fled China in the 1940s, and their contentious relationships with their four very Americanized daughters. Through the love of their mothers, each of these young women learns about her heritage and so is able to deal more effectively with her life.

CliffsNotes provides detailed plot summaries, critical commentaries, and a helpful character list to help you uncover all the insight this novel has to offer. Make studying easier with CliffsNotes on The Joy Luck Club. Other features includeCritical essaysA review section that tests your knowledgeBackground on the author, including career highlightsClassic literature or modern-day treasureyou’ll understand it all with expert information and insight from CliffsNotes study guides.

12. The Refugee Aesthetic: Reimagining Southeast Asian America (Asian American History & Cultu)

Author: by Timothy K. August
Published at: Temple University Press; 1st edition (October 16, 2020)
ISBN: 978-1439915318

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The refugee is conventionally considered a powerless figure, eagerly cast aside by both migrant and host communities. In his book, The Refugee Aesthetic, Timothy August investigates how and why a number of Southeast Asian American artists and writers have recently embraced the figure of the refugee as a particularly transformative position.

He explains how these artists, theorists, critics, and culture-makers reconstruct their place in the American imagination by identifying and critiquing the underlying structures of power that create refugees in the contemporary world. August looks at the outside forces that shape refugee representation and how these expressions are received.

He considers the visual legacy of the Southeast Asian refugee experience by analyzing music videos, graphic novels, and refugee artwork. August also examines the power of refugee literature, showing how and why Southeast Asian American writers look to the refugee position to disentangle their complicated aesthetic legacy.