By Xiaojing Zhou
Asian American literature abounds with advanced depictions of yankee towns as areas that toughen racial segregation and forestall interactions throughout limitations of race, tradition, classification, and gender. in spite of the fact that, in towns of Others, Xiaojing Zhou uncovers a miles assorted narrative, supplying the main finished exam to this point of ways Asian American writers―both celebrated and overlooked―depict city settings. Zhou is going past interpreting well known portrayals of Chinatowns by way of paying equivalent realization to lifestyles in different components of the town. Her leading edge and wide-ranging method sheds new gentle at the works of chinese language, Filipino, Indian, jap, Korean, and Vietnamese American writers who endure witness to various city stories and reimagine the yankee urban as except a segregated nation-space.
Drawing on severe theories on area from city geography, ecocriticism, and postcolonial stories, Zhou indicates how spatial association shapes id 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 exhibits 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 delivering a framework that permits readers to determine ethnic enclaves and American towns as collectively constitutive and transformative, Zhou offers us a provocative new option to comprehend essentially the most very important works of Asian American literature.
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Additional resources for Cities of Others: Reimagining Urban Spaces in Asian American Literature
Then she goes on to deplore Lew Wing’s young daughter’s “bold and free” ways with white men. Pau Lin joins in “at another balcony door,” saying, “One needs not to be born here to be made a fool of ” (48). Their conversation moves from the harms white Americans have brought to Chinese families to the violence resulting from missionary practice in China. Their complaints reveal their resentment about the loss of respect for the Chinese and their culture and suggest a connection between the degradation of the Chinese and the colonialist Christian S u i Si n Fa r missions in both China and Chinatown.
It is worth noting, moreover, that in Sawtelle’s argument against the Chinese women’s lethal contamination of the American national body, she inscribes the threat of Chinese immigrant’s racial Otherness and inassimilable foreignness in spatial terms: “In the very heart of San Francisco there is a Chinese empire. . Several streets are devoted to mercantile and manufacturing pursuit, while the alleys are lined with the tenements of the Chinese courtesans” (4). Sawtelle’s article offers a salient example of the predominant stereotypical representations of Chinatown by white Americans, in which Chinatown is turned into what Shah calls a “perverse geography” that “provided a schema of the dangers of Chinatown and Chinese residents to middle-class white society in San Francisco and beyond” (79).
Appropriating the method of journalist investigation and ethnographic participatory observation, Sui Sin Far employs the conventions of flânerie to resee and reexperience Chinatown anew. In reports such as “Chinese in Business Here” for the Los Angeles Express, Sui Sin Far takes her readers on a tour of Chinatown. Instead of dark alleys or opium dens, she leads the reader through Chinatown streets, while commenting on and explaining what is seen: If one will visit the stores, and other places of business of the Chinese of Los Angeles, he will gain a clearer idea of the industry and ingenuity of the people than the most learned books and treatises on the Chinese.