Asian/Chinese-American Literature dominated by Women who married White Men?


  • Level 3 - Captain

    Asian/Chinese-American Literature dominated by Women who married White Men?

    Recently I’ve been trying to read up on the Asian-American (specifically Chinese) literary canon. One thing that I noticed is that a lot of these books (Amy Tan, Maxine Hong Kingston, Gish Jen) are written by women and dealt primarily with how sexist or generally undesirable the Asian/Chinese cultural practices and expectations are for women.

    After doing some research on the authors, I’ve began to notice that virtually every Asian-American female writer in the past 40 something years had married outside their race, almost exclusively to white males.

    I really should emphasize I’m not judging any of their individual choices. However, to me there has to be something more when the literary voice of Asian-Americans are dominated by females who married white men.

    Thoughts?

    https://www.reddit.com/r/asianamerican/comments/26l2nm/asianchineseamerican_literature_dominated_by/

    Are women who are married to white men the best representation for Asian Americans? Does it matter? What are some examples of their literature? What do you think about it?


  • Empress of War

    @secondstrike That’s true. There are a ton of hot Asian and Asian-American guys but western society likes to draw attention to and focus on the William Hung types, out of fear of Asian men attracting too many women.


  • administrators

    @natalie_ng Oh it’s totally related lol. We need more guys like him repping us instead of role models like

    022614_ff_gameshow_640.jpg

    and his see-hing (loosely translates to “big brother” in a martial arts clan)

    maxresdefault.jpg


  • Empress of War

    @secondstrike Lol I read r/hapas too. I would think Celeste Ng would know if she’s basing her book off of these couples. She’s probably just embarrassed by it, which was why she switched the pairing to AMWF.

    Viet Thanh Nguyen, I definitely have heard about him. My mom adores his work. But wow, kudos to him for speaking out and telling the truth about publishers’ bias for whites! Not many Asian-American authors are brave enough to do that…

    On a completely unrelated note, I had no idea what he looked like until now. He’s pretty good looking! :O


  • administrators

    @natalie_ng

    She knows how damaged and broken many WMAF couples are

    Does she though? I mean, it should be obvious, but then again, I read r/hapas and studies so idk…

    The only problem though is that I believe most editors and publishers would rather publish work from women in WMAF relationships because they’re not vocal at all against whites,

    This is true.

    cwjWngK.jpg

    Pulitzer winner Viet Thanh Nguyen: ‘My book has something to offend everyone’ | Books | The Guardian:
    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/apr/22/pulitzer-prize-fiction-viet-thanh-nguyen-the-sympathizer

    I think it’s more insidious than that. When Frank Chin called out sell out authors like Maxine Hong Kingston for misrepresenting Chinese culture, there was a backlash smearing him as a misogynist to shut down awareness-raising efforts. He was the kind of genius who wrote Racist love that captured what was wrong with so much of Asian Americans.

    “In terms of the utter lack of cultural distinction in America, the destruction of an organic sense of identity, the complete psychological and cultural subjugation of a race of people, the people of Chinese and Japanese ancestry stand out as white racism’s only success.” - Frank Chin


  • Empress of War

    No, I don’t think women who are married to white men are the best representation for us. Book writers are like artists. When they create a work of art, they will be biased and they will add their personal thoughts and feelings into their art, sometimes on purpose and sometimes subconsciously.

    Take Celeste Ng for example. She knows how damaged and broken many WMAF couples are and how their kids end up but based on what everyone has told me (I personally haven’t read her work and honestly, don’t care to), she switched the story to AMWF thereby smearing AMWF’s reputation instead of her own. She’s aware of how damaging WMAF relationships are on their kids, but she’s embarrassed by that since she’s in a WMAF marriage herself, so she decides to throw AMWF under the bus instead. But this would be an inaccurate depiction of most real life AMWF couples. Not only did her writing tarnish AMWF’s reputation, but it also hides what is really happening with WMAFs and their kids.

    Women (and men) who take pride in their culture and ethnic identity are much better speakers/writers for Asian Americans and AA literature. I would think that they’re more likely to speak out against racism on Asian Americans. The only problem though is that I believe most editors and publishers would rather publish work from women in WMAF relationships because they’re not vocal at all against whites, hence why you probably never see work from women in AMAF relationships or any Asian American activist in general.


  • administrators

    Well, here are some reviews from the Joy Luck Club. Sounds like they’re trying to misrepresent Chinese people by smearing them.

    m2ZjlIr.jpg

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    Sounds like the only people who like her work are non-Asians who desperately want to believe in racist stereotypes.


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