Catalogue

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Beyond literary Chinatown /
Jeffrey F.L. Partridge.
imprint
Seattle : University of Washington Press, c2007.
description
xvii, 246 p.
ISBN
0295987065 (pbk. : acid-free paper), 9780295987064 (pbk. : acid-free paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Seattle : University of Washington Press, c2007.
isbn
0295987065 (pbk. : acid-free paper)
9780295987064 (pbk. : acid-free paper)
contents note
Literary Chinatown: dynamics of race and reading -- What is an ethnic author? -- The politics of ethnic authorship: Li-young Lee, Emerson, and Whitman at the banquet table -- Claiming diaspora in Shirley Geok-lin Lim's Joss and Gold -- Changing signifiers and changing horizons: baseball in three stories by David Wong Louie -- Change and the playful reader: reading Shawn Wong's American Knees -- Beyond multicultural: cultural hybridity in the novels of Gish Jen.
general note
"A McLellan Book."
catalogue key
6179037
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 225-237) and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Jeffrey F. L. Partridge currently coordinates the Liberal Arts and Sciences program for Capital Community College in Hartford, Connecticut
Awards
This item was nominated for the following awards:
American Book Award, USA, 2007 : Won
Excerpts
Flap Copy
The phenomenon of literary Chinatown--the ghettoization of Chinese American literature--was produced by the same dynamics of race and representation that ghettoized the Chinese American community into literal Chinatowns. Partridge examines the dynamic relationship between reader expectations of Chinese American literature and the challenges to these expectations posed by recent Chinese American texts, challenges that push our understanding of a multicultural society to new horizons.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-03-01:
In this hermeneutic scrutiny of works by five Chinese American authors, Partridge (Capital Community College) first interrogates persistent reader assumptions and then combines various poststructuralist and postcolonialist strategies to theorize reader-text-author relationships. He thus departs from new-historicist critics like David Leiwei Li and Sau-ling Cynthia Wong, drawing instead on critics like Elaine Kim and Stanley Fish, and on observations by Maxine Hong Kingston. The author problematizes assumptions about ethnic authorship and Asian exotic ghettoes, and uses Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club to exemplify marketplace popularity based on assumptions about the inscrutability of Chinese American life. The chapters that follow offer postmodern and semiotic readings of Li-Young Lee's poem "The Cleaving," Shirley Geok-Lim's diasporic novels, three David Wong Louie stories, Shawn Wong's novel American Knees, and the work of Gish Jen. Inspired by Robin Kelley and Vijay Prashad's "polycultural" replacement of thematic multiculturalism, Partridge's conclusions deserve serious development for their transnational resonance. This is a compelling, valuable, and provocative study. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty. R. Welburn University of Massachusetts Amherst
Reviews
Review Quotes
"This is the first work to consider the importance of Asia and the global economy and the influence of an Asian diaspora on Chinese American literature." Shawn Wong, University of Washington
This is the first work to consider the importance of Asia and the global economy and the influence of an Asian diaspora on Chinese American literature.-Shawn Wong, University of Washington
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2008
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
No further information has been provided for this title. .
Long Description
The phenomenon of literary Chinatown--the ghettoization of Chinese American literature--was produced by the same dynamics of race and representation that ghettoized the Chinese American community into literal Chinatowns. In a 1982 response to reviews of Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston pinpointed the crux of the matter: How dare they make their ignorance our inscrutability! Jeffrey F. L. Partridge examines the dynamic relationship between reader expectations of Chinese American literature and the challenges to these expectations posed by recent Chinese American texts, challenges that push our understanding of a multicultural society to new horizons. Partridge builds on the concept of a reading horizon--a set of expectations and assumptions that a reader brings to a text--to explore the crucial interplay between reader, author, and text. Arguing that authors like Kingston, Li-Young Lee, Gish Jen, Shawn Wong, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, and David Wong Louie are aware of their readers' horizons and write to challenge those assumptions, Partridge demonstrates how their writings function as a potent medium of cultural transformation. With attentive readings not only of literary texts but also of book reviews and publishers' marketing materials, Partridge enables us to chart and to understand the changes in Chinese American literature and its reception in the past fifty years. In doing so, he threads a new path forward in the discussion of race and ethnicity in America, one that encompasses the historical valence of multiculturalism and the cross-fertilizing perspectives of postmodern hybridity theory while remaining cognizant of the persistence of racist and racialized thinking in contemporaryAmerican society. Beyond Literary Chinatown demonstrates how Chinese American literature has come to negotiate the tensions between the expression of ethnic identity and a resistance to racialization. This important contribution to the growing body of critical works on Asian American literature will be of interest to reception theorists and scholars of American ethnic studies and American literature.
Main Description
The phenomenon of "literary Chinatown" - the ghettoization of Chinese American literature - was produced by the same dynamics of race and representation that ghettoized the Chinese American community into literal Chinatowns. In a 1982 response to reviews of Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston pinpointed the crux of the matter: "How dare they make their ignorance our inscrutability!" Jeffrey F. L. Partridge examines the dynamic relationship between reader expectations of Chinese American literature and the challenges to these expectations posed by recent Chinese American texts, challenges that push our understanding of a multicultural society to new horizons.Partridge builds on the concept of a "reading horizon" - a set of expectations and assumptions that a reader brings to a text - to explore the crucial interplay between reader, author, and text. Arguing that authors like Kingston, Li-Young Lee, Gish Jen, Shawn Wong, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, and David Wong Louie are aware of their readers' horizons and write to challenge those assumptions, Partridge demonstrates how their writings function as a potent medium of cultural transformation. With attentive readings not only of literary texts but also of book reviews and publishers' marketing materials, Partridge enables us to chart and to understand the changes in Chinese American literature and its reception in the past fifty years. In doing so, he threads a new path forward in the discussion of race and ethnicity, one that encompasses the historical valence of multiculturalism and the cross-fertilizing perspectives of postmodern hybridity theory while remaining cognizant of the persistence of racist and racialized thinking in contemporary American society. Beyond Literary Chinatown demonstrates how Chinese American literature has come to negotiate the tensions between the expression of ethnic identity and a resistance to racialization. This important contribution to the growing body of critical works on Asian American literature will be of interest to reception theorists and scholars of American ethnic studies and American literature.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
Introduction: Reading Horizonsp. 3
Literary Chinatown and the Reader's Horizonp. 21
Literary Chinatown: Dynamics of Race and Readingp. 23
What Is an Ethnic Author?p. 49
Exceeding the Marginsp. 75
The Politics of Ethnic Authorship: Li-Young Lee, Emerson, and Whitman at the Banquet Tablep. 77
Claiming Diaspora in Shirley Geok-lin Lim's Joss and Goldp. 99
Change and the Phenomenology of Readingp. 115
Changing Signifiers and Changing Horizons: Baseball in Three Stories by David Wong Louiep. 117
Change and the Playful Reader: Reading Shawn Wong's American Kneesp. 137
Reading New Horizonsp. 163
Beyond Multicultural: Cultural Hybridity in the Novels of Gish Jenp. 165
Conclusion: The Emergence of the Polyculturalp. 191
Notesp. 205
Bibliographyp. 225
Indexp. 238
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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