The Politics of the Visible in Asian North American Narratives

Front Cover

Examining nine Asian Canadian and Asian American narratives, Eleanor Ty explores how authors empower themselves, represent differences, and re-script their identities as 'visible minorities' within the ideological, imaginative, and discursive space given to them by dominant culture. In various ways, Asian North Americans negotiate daily with 'birthmarks, ' their shared physical features marking them legally, socially, and culturally as visible outsiders, and paradoxically, as invisible to mainstream history and culture.

Ty argues that writers such as Denise Chong, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, and Wayson Choy recast the marks of their bodies and challenge common perceptions of difference based on the sights, smells, dress, and other characteristics of their hyphenated lives. Others, like filmmaker Mina Shum and writers Bienvenido Santos and Hiromi Goto, challenge the means by which Asian North American subjects are represented and constructed in the media and in everyday language. Through close readings grounded in the socio-historical context of each work, Ty studies the techniques of various authors and filmmakers in their meeting of the gaze of dominant culture and their response to the assumptions and meanings commonly associated with Orientalized, visible bodies.

 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

INVISIBLE MINORITIES IN ASIAN AMERICA
28
Denise Chongs
33
Bienvenido Santoss
54
Performativity and Ethnic Identity
69
Communities Texts and Bodies
85
Recalling Tastes
101
Multiple Voices
116
Personal and Collective
137
Female Voices in Hiromi Gotos
152
Borderline Filipino
169
Afterword
185
Works Cited
203
Index
219
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page iii - I was your house. And, when you leave, abandoning this dwelling place, I do not know what to do with these walls of mine. Have I ever had a body other than the one which you constructed according to your idea of it? Have I ever experienced a skin other than the one which you wanted me to dwell within?

About the author (2004)

Eleanor Ty is a professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Bibliographic information