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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 Incomplete Biography in the Post–Civil Rights Era

The Incomplete Biography in the Post–Civil Rights Era

Narrating Imagined Lives in Sigrid Nunez’s Fictions

(p.101) 3 The Incomplete Biography in the Post–Civil Rights Era
Racial Asymmetries

Stephen Hong Sohn

NYU Press

This chapter examines Sigrid Nunez's For Rouenna and The Last of Her Kind, both of which complicate any clear link between the author's ethnoracial background and the novels' protagonists. In each novel, the storyteller is an individual who looks to reconstruct the life of another character but in the process calls attention to other individuals on the peripheries and pushes the biographical form to expand. Though neither novel employs the narrative perspective of an Asian American character, each shows measured attention to pressing social issues, whether related to the plight of female veterans who fought in the Vietnam War or the failures of the American prison system.

Keywords:   Sigrid Nunez, For Rouenna, ethnoracial background, narrative perspective, Vietnam War

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