Asian American Women's Popular Literature: Feminizing Genres by Pamela Thoma

By Pamela Thoma

Popular style fiction written by means of Asian American girls and that includes Asian American characters received a marketplace presence within the overdue 20th and early twenty-first centuries. those “crossover” books—mother-daughter narratives, chick lit, detective fiction, and meals writing—attempt to bridge ethnic audiences and a broader analyzing public. In Asian American Women's well known Literature, Pamela Thoma considers how those books either depict modern American-ness and give a contribution severely to public discussion approximately nationwide belonging.
Novels similar to Michelle Yu and Blossom Kan’s China Dolls and Sonia Singh’s Goddess for Hire, or mysteries together with Sujata Massey’s Girl in a Box and Suki Kim’s The Interpreter, reveal Asian American women’s ambivalence concerning the trappings and prescriptions of mainstream American society. Thoma exhibits how those writers’ works deal with some of the pressures on girls to control their roles when it comes to kinfolk and finances—reconciling the calls for of labor, patron tradition, and motherhood—in a neoliberal society.

A quantity within the American Literatures Initiative.

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Additional info for Asian American Women's Popular Literature: Feminizing Genres and Neoliberal Belonging

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Sharma 139). If Patricia Chu finds in the mother-daughter narrative a utopian family romance that affirms cultural citizenship, in the hands of these authors’ flexible strategies the genre is also a site for questioning the reinscription of the maternal romance as a viable route for belonging. Chapter 3, “Romancing the Self and Negotiating Postfeminist Consumer Citizenship in Asian American Women’s Labor Lit,” deepens my argument that Asian American women’s genre fiction moves beyond affirmations of cultural citizenship to engage various discourses of neoliberal belonging.

8 Further, Asian American Women’s Popular Literature’s contention that Asian American women’s popular literature has been important for the legibility of Asian American women’s citizenship and that it has contributed to the contemporary reformulation of belonging is in large part based on the premise that authorship is one of several methods of displaying participation in mainstream culture as mandated by neoliberal cultural citizenship. The wide range of fiction and nonfiction written by women about mothers, mothering, and motherhood that finds its way into public consciousness, whether as print texts, e-books, or filmic adaptations, is breathtaking.

Asian American Women’s Popular Literature focuses on fictional print narratives, locates them in a neoliberal context that blurs distinctions among cultural, political, and consumer practices, and moves beyond interpretations of literature as aestheticized tools of liberal nation-building or as unequivocal affirmations of cultural citizenship. asian american women’s popular literature╇ /╇ 35 Chapter Overview Chapter 2, “Asian American Mother-Daughter Narrative and the Neoliberal American Dream of Transformative Femininity,” recontextualizes this most identifiable and feminizing genre of Asian American women’s literature in the citizenship discourse I call “neoliberal maternal discourse” and offers an alternative to shallow sentimentality for understanding the popularity of mother-daughter narratives.

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