By Xiaojing Zhou
Asian American literature abounds with advanced depictions of yankee towns as areas that make stronger racial segregation and stop interactions throughout barriers of race, tradition, category, and gender. even though, in towns of Others, Xiaojing Zhou uncovers a far various narrative, delivering the main accomplished exam to this point of ways Asian American writers―both celebrated and overlooked―depict city settings. Zhou is going past analyzing well known portrayals of Chinatowns by means of paying equivalent recognition to lifestyles in different components of the town. Her cutting edge and wide-ranging strategy sheds new mild at the works of chinese language, Filipino, Indian, eastern, Korean, and Vietnamese American writers who undergo witness to numerous city reviews and reimagine the yank urban as except a segregated nation-space.
Drawing on severe theories on house from city geography, ecocriticism, and postcolonial experiences, Zhou indicates how spatial association shapes identification within the works of Sui Sin a long way, Bienvenido Santos, Meena Alexander, Frank Chin, Chang-rae Lee, Karen Tei Yamashita, and others. She additionally indicates how the typical practices of Asian American groups problem racial segregation, reshape city areas, and redefine the identification of the yank urban. From a reimagining of the nineteenth-century flaneur determine in an Asian American context to supplying a framework that enables readers to determine ethnic enclaves and American towns as together constitutive and transformative, Zhou offers us a provocative new option to comprehend probably the most vital works of Asian American literature.
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Additional info for Cities of Others: Reimagining Urban Spaces in Asian American Literature
The major characters in Tropic of Orange offer alternative interpretations of the official map and insist on inscribing power relations along with layers of histories of the city, the Americas, and other parts of the world, as well as the everyday experience of the displaced, the marginalized, and the homeless in Los Angeles as a global city intricately bound up with the global South. By mapping the global South—the “other scene” of globalization (Spivak’s phrase in “Globalicities” 74)—in the global city, Yamashita registers not only large-scale social injustice but also powerful resistance uncontainable by spatial segregation or border control.
Asian American writings about urban space offer incisive theorizing perspectives on metropolises, global cities, transnational ethnic enclaves, and inner-city ghettos. As a way of overcoming the thematic and methodological limitations in my reading of Asian American city literature, I include Yamashita’s I Hotel (2010) and lê thi diem thúy’s The Gangster We Are All Looking For (2004). My brief discussion of these two novels is also intended to call critical attention to the politics and poetics of space embedded in their respective narrative strategies in order to further open up the conceptual and historical frameworks for studying urban literature.
In her discussion of this passage, Teng notes that “[w]hat Genthe does here is reinscribe Norris’s trope as physical space: metaphorical circles become architectural structures—three stories segregating classes of people and activities. For Genthe, a building serves as a microcosmic articulation of socioeconomic relations in Chinatown society” (“Artifacts” 65). Moreover, the self-contained architecture of the theater suggests the selfenclosure of the Chinatown community isolated from the American city.
Cities of Others: Reimagining Urban Spaces in Asian American Literature by Xiaojing Zhou