Asian American Literature and the Environment
This book is a ground-breaking transnational study of representations of the environment in Asian American literature. Extending and renewing Asian American studies and ecocriticism by drawing the two fields into deeper dialogue, it brings Asian American writers to the center of ecocritical studies. This collection demonstrates the distinctiveness of Asian American writers’ positions on topics of major concern today: environmental justice, identity and the land, war environments, consumption, urban environments, and the environment and creativity. Represented authors include Amy Tan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Ruth Ozeki, Ha Jin, Fae Myenne Ng, Le Ly Hayslip, Lan Cao, Mitsuye Yamada, Lawson Fusao Inada, Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, Milton Murayama, Don Lee, and Hisaye Yamamoto. These writers provide a range of perspectives on the historical, social, psychological, economic, philosophical, and aesthetic responses of Asian Americans to the environment conceived in relation to labor, racism, immigration, domesticity, global capitalism, relocation, pollution, violence, and religion. Contributors apply a diversity of critical frameworks, including critical radical race studies, counter-memory studies, ecofeminism, and geomantic criticism. The book presents a compelling and timely "green" perspective through which to understand key works of Asian American literature and leads the field of ecocriticism into neglected terrain.
Introduction: Ecocriticism and Asian American Literature John Gamber Part 1: The Environment and Labor 1. Environmental Narratives of American Identity: Landscape and Belonging in Maxine Hong Kingston’s China Men and Milton Murayama’s All I Asking for Is My Body Andrea Aebersold 2. Fae Myenne Ng’s San Francisco Chinatown as a Social Space of Legal Discrimination Wenying Xu 3. "Delving and Carving Rude Nature": An Ecocritical Reading of Don Lee's Wrack and Ruin Bella Adams Part 2: The Environment and Violence 4. Contested "Frontier" and "Pioneers" in Writings about Japanese American Concentration Camps Zhou Xiaojing 5. Tilling the Soil in the Killing Fields: Cambodian American War Memoirs Helena Grice 6. Ecological Imaginations, the Vietnam War, and Vietnamese American Literature Cathy J. Schlund-Vials 7. "Guns, Race, Meat, and Manifest Destiny": Environmental Neocolonialism and Ecofeminism in Ruth Ozeki’s My Year of Meats Youngsuk Chae Part 3: The Environment and Philosophy 8. Hisaye Yamamoto as Radical Agrarian Sarah D. Wald 9. A Geomantic Reading of Asian Diasporic Literature Stephen L. Field 10. Environment for "A Free Life" King-Kok Cheung Afterword David Eng
Through various critical lenses that bring together studies in race, gender, labor, space, immigration, and ecofeminism, these essays interrogate US exceptionalism in the reconstruction of 'frontier' in relation to Asian American experiences and challenge US neocolonialism and neoliberalism in the transnational Asia-Pacific. In so doing it breaks new ground in both environmental and Asian American studies. Summing Up: Highly recommended. - Y. Shu, CHOICE
Asian American Literature and the Environment is a book I have long waited to see in print. It is a groundbreaking contribution to ecocritical inquiry and Asian American literary studies and will help define the fields for years to come. -- Robert T. Hayashi, Amherst College, USA
A wide-ranging and ground-breaking study that expands our understanding of Asian-American culture, environmental literature, and the connections between them. This should be required reading in ecocriticism, environmental studies, and multi-cultural studies. -- David Landis Barnhill, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, USA
By collecting essays that focus on connections between environmental thought and Asian American literary productions,this book presents a new and exciting approach to two fields that have rarely been in dialogue with each other, and moves the field of Asian American studies in new directions. -- Claudia Sadowski-Smith, Arizona State University, USA