American Literature Essay

American Literature Essay-41
This seems to me an unfortunate exclusion that cuts off important sources of history, culture and memory.Since Asia is an inherent part of an Asian American's past, whether distant or more immediate, it should be acknowledged.

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Next, I explore the rather fluid boundaries of the terms Asian, American, and literature. R, west of the Ural Mountains, as far east as the Bering Strait, and as far south as the Indian Ocean; it is separated from Africa by the Suez Canal, includes all of the Middle East as well as the islands of the South Pacific.

Asia, as the world's largest continent, stretches from what used to be the U. However, the boundaries of Asia as employed by scholars of Asian American literature have been much more limited, focused primarily on writers of so-called East Asian origins.

Writers whose sensibilities were shaped in Asia, those who write of American experiences in Asian languages or of Asian experiences in English have been designated immigrant or emigré writers, but should also be included under the rubric Asian American.

There is always a surplus of humanness, as Bakhtin says, (Dialogic Imagination, 37) and several questions tease us as we try to put people into categories.

David Hsin-fu Wand, editor of another anthology Asian American Heritage (1974), extended the field to include Koreans, South Pacific islanders, and writers whose sensibilities had been formed in Asia.

As South Asians and Southeast Asians are beginning to be recognized as writers, the boundary of Asian American literature is stretching.

We are realizing that there are large gaps in history, many stories which have never before been heard by the populace at large, stories by those who are powerless, working class, and peoples of color.

Thus, Asian American literature has several purposes: to remember the past, to give voice to a hitherto silent people with an ignored and therefore unknown history, to correct stereotypes of an exotic or foreign experience and thus, as Hong Kingston says, to claim America for the thousands of Americans whose Asian faces too frequently deny them a legitimate place in this country of their birth.

These essays have not appeared in print before; they are fresh, original, critical comments on major American authors.

Most of the essays are the contributions of experienced, active teachers of American literature, offering the student and general reader literary criticism of scholarly depth, written informally.


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