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Racial AsymmetriesAsian American Fictional Worlds$
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Stephen Hong Sohn

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781479800070

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479800070.001.0001

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The Many Storytellers of Asian American Fiction

(p.1) Introduction
Racial Asymmetries

Stephen Hong Sohn

NYU Press

This introductory chapter argues that Asian American literature is traditionally understood as a body of texts written in English that depicts a specific social history in which individuals of various ethnicities faced discrimination due to perceptions and laws that designated them as aliens. Common narratives involve the troubling acculturation process of the Asian immigrant; the intergenerational ruptures between Asian immigrant parents and their more Americanized children; and the problems of defining identity when an Asian American travels back to a land of ethnic origin. The book then challenges the tidy links between authorial ancestry and fictional content, and between identity and form, to expand what is typically thought of as Asian American culture and criticism.

Keywords:   Asian American literature, Asian immigrant, Americanized children, Asian American

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