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Racial Asymmetries: Asian American Fictional Worlds

Racial Asymmetries: Asian American Fictional Worlds

by Stephen Hong Sohn


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Challenging the tidy links among authorial position, narrative perspective, and fictional content, Stephen Hong Sohn argues that Asian American authors have never been limited to writing about Asian American characters or contexts. Racial Asymmetries specifically examines the importance of first person narration in Asian American fiction published in the postrace era, focusing on those cultural productions in which the author’s ethnoracial makeup does not directly overlap with that of the storytelling perspective.

Through rigorous analysis of novels and short fiction, such as Sesshu Foster’s Atomik Aztex, Sabina Murray’s A Carnivore’s Inquiry and Sigrid Nunez’s The Last of Her Kind, Sohn reveals how the construction of narrative perspective allows the Asian American writer a flexible aesthetic canvas upon which to engage issues of oppression and inequity, power and subjectivity, and the complicated construction of racial identity. Speaking to concerns running through postcolonial studies and American literature at large, Racial Asymmetries employs an interdisciplinary approach to reveal the unbounded nature of fictional worlds.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781479800278
Publisher: New York University Press
Publication date: 01/17/2014
Pages: 297
Sales rank: 904,277
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Stephen Hong Sohn is Assistant Professor of English at Stanford University. He is the co-editor of Transnational Asian American Literature: Sites and Transits.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Many Storytellers of Asian American Fiction
1 White Flight, White Narration: Suburban Deviancies in Chang-rae Lee’s Aloft
2 When the Minor Becomes Major: Asian American Literary California, Chicano Narration, and Sesshu Foster’s Atomik Aztex
3 The Incomplete Biography in the Post–Civil Rights Era: Narrating Imagined Lives in Sigrid Nunez’s Fictions
4 Comparative Colonial Narration: Conquest and Consumption in Sabina Murray’s Fictions
5 Impossible Narration: Racial Analogies and Asian American Speculative Fictions
Coda: Fiction Unbound
Works Cited
About the Author

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