Modern Minority: Asian American Literature and Everyday Life

Hardcover | January 23, 2013

byYoon Sun Lee

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Modern Minority presents a fresh examination of canonical and emergent Asian American literature's relationship to the genre of realism, particularly through its preoccupation with the everyday. Lee argues that it is through the elements of the everyday, which she defines as the'quantifiable' attention to familiar objects and 'quasi-statistical' repetitions of ordinary acts, that Asian American writers negotiate their vexed relationship to modernity. Lee draws on Lukacs, Jameson, de Certeau, and other cultural critics to show how portraits of the everyday articulate AsianAmerican writers' participation in the project of literary realism. The study participates in a new trend in Asian American criticism that sees form as crucial to the construction of minorness. The book covers most of the 20th century and spans a range of Asian ethnic groups and literary styles. Authors examined include Carlos Bulosan, Lan Samantha Chang, FrankChin, Ha Jin, Younghill Kang, Nora Okja Keller, Maxine Hong Kingston, Joy Kogawa, Chang-rae Lee, Mine Okubo, Monica Sone, Jade Snow Wong, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Jhumpa Lahiri, Thi Diem Thuy Le, and Toshio Mori. The manuscript contributes a new direction in a field in which the criticism has beenpreoccupied with the politics of recognition and identity; it will interest scholars in Asian American, ethnic American, and American literary and cultural criticism.

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Modern Minority presents a fresh examination of canonical and emergent Asian American literature's relationship to the genre of realism, particularly through its preoccupation with the everyday. Lee argues that it is through the elements of the everyday, which she defines as the'quantifiable' attention to familiar objects and 'quasi-s...

Yoon Sun Lee is Associate Professor of English at Wellesley College. She is the author of Nationalism and Irony: Burke, Scott, Carlyle (Oxford UP, 2004).

other books by Yoon Sun Lee

Format:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:January 23, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199915830

ISBN - 13:9780199915835

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Table of Contents

Table of ContentsIntroductionAsian American Realism and the Forms of Everyday MinornessPart I: Discovering the Modern Everyday1. The Outward Spiral: Kang and Bulosan Ignore the Everyday2. Little Things: The Uncanny Everyday of Internment LiteraturePart II: The Problem of Identity3. Unlikely Daughters, Exemplary Mothers, and Disembedded Chinamen: Jade Snow Wong and Maxine Hong Kingston4. The Changing Story of Thingness: From Kogawa and Keller to Ha Jin and Lan Samantha ChangPart III: Everyday Immanence5. Lists, Native Speaker, and the Politics of Emergence6. Extensive Time and Crumpled Surfaces: Projects of Identity in Frank Chin and Lois-Ann YamanakaConclusionEncountering Modernity Every Day