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

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9781439910184: Asian American Women's Popular Literature: Feminizing Genres and Neoliberal Belonging
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Popular genre fiction written by Asian American women and featuring Asian American characters gained a market presence in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. These “crossover” books—mother-daughter narratives, chick lit, detective fiction, and food writing—attempt to bridge ethnic audiences and a broader reading public. In Asian American Women's Popular Literature, Pamela Thoma considers how these books both depict contemporary American-ness and contribute critically to public dialogue about national belonging. Novels such as Michelle Yu and Blossom Kan’s China Dolls and Sonia Singh’s Goddess for Hire, or mysteries including Sujata Massey’s Girl in a Box and Suki Kim’s The Interpreter, reveal Asian American women’s ambivalence about the trappings and prescriptions of mainstream American society. Thoma shows how these writers’ works address the various pressures on women to manage their roles in relation to family and finances—reconciling the demands of work, consumer culture, and motherhood—in a neoliberal society.

A volume in the American Literatures Initiative.

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Book Description:

How Asian American women writers mobilize popular genres of literature to imagine new forms of citizenship in a neoliberal society.

About the Author:

Pamela Thoma is Associate Professor of Critical Culture, Gender, and Race Studies and a member of the Graduate Faculty in American Studies at Washington State University.

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