The Interethnic Imagination: Roots and Passages in Contemporary Asian American Fiction

Hardcover | November 13, 2009

byCaroline Rody

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In the wake of all that is changing in local and global cultures - in patterns of migration, settlement, labor, and communications - a radical interaction has taken place that, during the last quarter of the twentieth century, has shifted our understanding of ethnicity away from 'ethnic initself' to 'ethnic amidst a hybrid collective'. In light of this, Caroline Rody proposes a new paradigm for understanding the changing terrain of contemporary fiction. She claims that what we have long read as ethnic literature is in the process of becoming 'interethnic'. Examining an extensiverange of Asian American fictions, The Interethnic Imagination offers sustained readings of three especially compelling examples: Chang-rae Lee's ambivalent evocations of blackness, whiteness, Koreanness, and the multicultural crowd in Native Speaker; Gish Jen's comic engagement with Jewishness inMona in the Promised Land; and the transnational imagination of Karen Tei Yamashita's Tropic of Orange. Two shorter "interchapters" and an epilogue extend the thematics of creative "in-betweenness" across the book's structure, elaborating crossover topics including Asian American fiction's complexengagement with African American culture; the cross-ethnic adoption of Jewishness by Asian American writers; and the history of mixed-race Asian American fictional characters.

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In the wake of all that is changing in local and global cultures - in patterns of migration, settlement, labor, and communications - a radical interaction has taken place that, during the last quarter of the twentieth century, has shifted our understanding of ethnicity away from 'ethnic initself' to 'ethnic amidst a hybrid collective'....

Caroline Rody is Associate Professor of English at the University of Virginia.

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Hardcover|Apr 15 2001

$80.44 online$97.95list price(save 17%)
Format:HardcoverDimensions:216 pages, 6.18 × 9.21 × 0.91 inPublished:November 13, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195377362

ISBN - 13:9780195377361

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgments1. The Interethnic Paradigm and the Case of Asian American Fiction Interchapter: Asian/African: Black Presences in Asian American Fiction2. "With Darkness Yet": Chang-rae Lee's Native Speaker, Blackness, and the Interethnic Imagination3. Letters from Camp Gugelstein: Interethnicity and Jewishness in Gish Jen's Mona in the Promised Land iInterchapter: Cross-ethnic Jewishness in Asian American and Other Contemporary Fiction4. Karen Tei Yamashita's Tropic of Orange, Interethnicity, and the Transnational ImaginationEpilogue: Mixed Races, Mixed Children, Mixed OutcomesReferencesIndex