Engaging with Asian Australian writing, this book focuses on an influential area of cultural production defined by its ethnic diversity and stylistic innovativeness. In addressing the demanding new transnational and transcultural critical frameworks of such syncretic writing, the contributors collectively examine how the varied and diverse body of Asian Australian literary work intervenes into contemporary representational politics and culture. The book questions, for instance, the ideology of Australian multiculturalism; the core/periphery hierarchy; the perpetuation of Orientalist attitudes and stereotypes; and white Australian claims to belong as seen in its myths of cultural authenticity and authority. Ranging in critical analyses from the historic first Chinese-Australian novel to contemporary award winning Sri Lankan, Bangladeshi and Filipino Australian novels, the book provides an inside view of the ways in which Asian Australian literary work is reshaping Australian mainstream literature, politics and culture, and in the wider context, the world literary scene. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Postcolonial Writing.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Realigning the margins: Asian Australian writing 1. Poison, polygamy and postcolonial politics: The first Chinese Australian novel 2. (Not) being at home: Hsu Ming Teo’s Behind the Moon (2005) and Michelle de Kretser’s Questions of Travel (2012) 3. Mediating literary borders: Sri Lankan writing in Australia 4. Tourists, travellers, refugees: An interview with Michelle De Kretser 5. The diasporic slide: representations of second-generation diasporas in Yasmine Gooneratne’s A Change of Skies (1991) and in Chandani Lokugé’s If the Moon Smiled (2000) and Softly as I Leave You (2011) 6. "The root of all evil"? Transnational cosmopolitanism in the fiction of Dewi Anggraeni, Simone Lazaroo and Merlinda Bobis 7. Merlinda Bobis’s Fish-Hair Woman: Showcasing Asian Australianness, putting the question of justice in its place 8. Re-storying the past, re-imagining the future in Adib Khan’s Homecoming and Spiral Road
Janet Wilson is Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Northampton, UK. She has published widely on Australian and New Zealand postcolonial and diaspora writing and cinema, including guest-edited journals and essay collections, recently The Routledge Diaspora Studies Reader. She co-edits Studies in World Literature, and the Journal of Postcolonial Writing.
Chandani Lokugé is Associate Professor of Literary Studies at Monash University, Australia. Among her 15 book publications are the Oxford Classics Reissues series of Indian women’s writing, three novels and several guest-edited journals, including the Journal for Postcolonial Writing. She edited the Annotated Bibliography of English Studies for Routledge from 2007-2009.