The last ten years have witnessed an enormous growth in American interest in Asia and Asian/American history. In particular, a set of key Asian historical moments have recently become the subject of intense American cultural scrutiny, namely China’s Cultural Revolution and its aftermath; the Korean American war and its legacy; the era of Japanese geisha culture and its subsequent decline; and China’s one-child policy and the rise of transracial, international adoption in its wake. Grice examines and accounts for this cultural and literary preoccupation, exploring the corresponding historical-political situations that have both circumscribed and enabled greater cultural and political contact between Asia and America.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements. 1. Reading Asian American Fiction, History and Life Writing: International Encounters 2. "The Escape from Asia Tradition": Cultural Revolution Expatriate Memoirs 3. Contemporary Transracial Adoption Narratives: Prospects and Perspectives 4. A Secret History: American Representations of Geisha Society 5. Korean Expatriate Writing and the History of the Korean Peninsula. Notes. Bibliography. Index
Helena Grice is Senior Lecturer in American Literature at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth and is the author of Negotiating Identities and Maxine Hong Kingston.
"In this valuable addition to scholarship on Asian American literature in a transnational context, Grice (Univ. of Wales, Aberystwyth) investigates four "shrouded histories of 20th century Asia"--memoirs by women of Communist China, Chinese transracial adoption narratives, literature on the geisha of Japan, and Korean expatriate narratives--that help to produce a new global imaginary by both disrupting and exceeding concepts of identity and nationhood. Recommended." --Choice.
"Grice insightfully and sensitively analyzes hundreds of texts from multiple Asian cultures and in several genres, making this volume a valuable addition to several disciplines, including American studies, ethnic studies, literary studies, and diaspora studies."
-- David S. Goldstein, University of Washington, Bothell