War Baby / Love Child examines hybrid Asian American identity through a collection of essays, artworks, and interviews at the intersection of critical mixed race studies and contemporary art. The book pairs artwork and interviews with nineteen emerging, mid-career, and established mixed race/mixed heritage Asian American artists, including Li-lan and Kip Fulbeck, with scholarly essays exploring such topics as Vietnamese Amerasians, Korean transracial adoptions, and multiethnic Hawai'i. As an increasingly ethnically ambiguous Asian American generation is coming of age in an era of "optional identity," this collection brings together first-person perspectives and a wider scholarly context to shed light on changing Asian American cultures.
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In a series of letters to his mixed-race Koyukon Athabascan family, E. J. R. David shares his struggles, insecurities, and anxieties as a Filipino American immigrant man, husband, and father living in the lands dominated by his family's colonizer. The result is We Have Not Stopped Trembling Yet, a deeply personal and heartfelt exploration of the intersections and widespread social, psychological, and health implications of colonialism, immigration, racism, sexism, intergenerational trauma, and internalized oppression. Weaving together his lived realities, his family's experiences, and empirical data, David reflects on a difficult journey, touching upon the importance of developing critical and painful consciousness, as well as the need for connectedness, strength, freedom, and love, in our personal and collective efforts to heal from the injuries of historical and contemporary oppression. The persecution of two marginalized communities is brought to the forefront in this book. Their histories underscore and reveal how historical and contemporary oppression has very real and tangible impacts on Peoples across time and generations.
In 1968 Nguyen Qui Duc was nine years old, his father was a high-ranking civil servant in the South Vietnamese government, and his mother was a school principal. Then the Viet Cong launched their Tet offensive, and the Nguyen family's comfortable life was destroyed. The author's father was taken prisoner and marched up the Ho Chi Minh Trail. North Vietnam's highest-ranking civilian prisoner, he eventually spent twelve years in captivity, composing poems in his head to maintain his sanity. Nguyen himself escaped from Saigon as North Vietnamese tanks approached in 1975. He came of age as an American teenager, going to school dances and working at a Roy Rogers restaurant, yet yearning for the homeland and parents he had to leave behind. The author's mother stayed in Vietnam to look after her mentally ill daughter. She endured poverty and "reeducation" until her husband was freed and the Nguyens could reunite. Intertwining these three stories, Where the Ashes Are shows us the Vietnam War through a child's eyes, privation after a Communist takeover, and the struggle of new immigrants. The author, who returned to Vietnam as an American reporter, provides a detailed portrait of the nation as it opened to the West in the early 1990s. Where the Ashes Are closes with Nguyen's thoughts on being pulled between his adopted country and his homeland. Nguyen Qui Duc is a journalist, translator, and writer whose National Public Radio series on Vietnam won the Citation of Excellence from the Overseas Press Club of America. In 2006 he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for his contributions to journalism.
In Turning Japanese, poet David Mura chronicled a year in Japan in which his sense of identity as a Japanese American was transformed. In Where the Body Meets Memory, Mura focuses on his experience growing up Japanese American in a country which interned both his parents during World War II, simply because of their race. Interweaving his own experience with that of his family and of other sansei-third generation Japanese Americans-Mura reveals how being a "model minority" has resulted in a loss of heritage and wholeness for generations of Japanese Americans.In vivid and searingly honest prose, Mura goes on to suggest how the shame of internment affected his sense of sexuality, leading him to face troubling questions about desire and race: an interracial marriage, compulsive adultery, and an addiction to pornography which equates beauty with whiteness. Using his own experience as a measure of racial and sexual grief, Mura illustrates how the connections between race and desire are rarely discussed, how certain taboos continue to haunt this country's understanding of itself. Ultimately, Mura faces the most difficult legacy of miscegenation: raising children in a world which refuses to recognize and honor its racial diversity. Intimate and lyrically stunning, Where the Body Meets Memory is a personal journey out of the self and into America's racial and sexual psyche.
"It has true spiritual importance for contemporary American literature."--Edward Hirsch
Upon its initial publication, acclaimed poet Li-Young Lee's memoir The Winged Seed: A Remembrance (1995), received an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. In lyrical prose, Lee's extraordinary story begins in the 1950s when his parents fled China's political turmoil for Indonesia. Along with many other Chinese members of the population, his family was persecuted under President Sukarno. Falsely accused and charged for crimes against the state, his father spent a year and a half in jail as a political prisoner, half of that time in a leper colony. While his entire family was being transported to a prison colony, they escaped and fled to Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, and back to Hong Kong where his father rose to prominence as an evangelical preacher. Eventually, the family sought asylum in the United States in 1962. When the author was six, they emigrated to a small town in western Pennsylvania where his father became a Presbyterian minister. This reissued edition contains a new foreword by the author and never-before-seen photos of the family from different stages of their journey.
Li-Young Lee is the author of four critically acclaimed books of poetry that have garnered such awards as the Delmore Schwartz Memorial Award from New York University; the 1990 Lamont Poetry Selection; the Writer's Award from the Mrs. Giles Whiting Foundation; and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Lannan Foundation, and the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Park provides a genealogy of oriental style through contextualized readings of popular films-from the multicultural city in Blade Runner and the Japanese American mentor in The Karate Kid to the Afro-Asian reworking of the buddy genre in Rush Hour and the mixed-race hero in The Matrix. Throughout these analyses Park shows how references to the Orient have marked important changes in American popular attitudes toward East Asia in the past thirty years, from abjection to celebration, invisibility to hypervisibility.
Unlike other investigations of racial imagery in Hollywood, Yellow Future centers on how the Asiatic is transformed into and performed as style in the backdrop of these movies and discusses the significance of this conditional visibility for representations of racial difference.