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Wilfrid Laurier University Faculty of Arts
December 10, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Asian Canadian Writing Beyond Autoethnography

Ty, Eleanor and Christl Verduyn, eds.  Asian Canadian Writing Beyond Autoethnography.  Waterloo:  Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2008


Asian Canadian Writing Beyond Autoethnography explores some of the latest developments in the literary and cultural practices of Canadians of Asian heritage.  While earlier work by ethnic, multicultural or minority writers in Canada was often concerned with immigration, the moment of arrival, issues of assimilation, and conflicts between generations, literary and cultural production in the new millennium no longer focuses solely on the conflict between the Old World and the New of the clashes between culture of origin and adopted culture.  No longer are minority authors identifying simply with their ethnic or racial cultural background in opposition to dominant culture.

The essays in this collection explore ways in which Asian Canadian authors (such as Larissa Lai, Shani Mootoo, Fred Wah, Hiromi Goto, Suniti Namjoshi, and Ying Chen) and artists (such as Ken Lum, Paul Wong, and Laiwan) have gone beyond what Françoise Lionnet calls autoethnography, or ethnographic autobiography. They demonstrate the ways representations of race and ethnicity, particularly in works by Asian Canadians in the last decade, have changed – have become more playful, untraditional, aesthetically and ideologically transgressive, and exciting.

Acknowledgements vii
Introduction     Eleanor Ty and Christl Verduyn   1 
I. Theoretical Challenges and Praxis
1. The Politics of the Beyond: 43 Theses on Autoethnography and Complicity   Smaro Kamboureli 31
2. Autoethnography Otherwise     Paul Lai 55
3. Tides of Belonging: Reconfiguring the Autoethnographic Paradigm in Shani Mootoo’s He Drown She in the Sea   Kristina Kyser  71
II. Generic Transformations
4. Strategizing the Body of History: Anxious Writing, Absent Subjects, and Marketing the Nation     Larissa Lai 87
5. The Politics of Gender and Genre in Asian Canadian Women’s Speculative Fiction: Hiromi Goto and Larissa Lai     Pilar Cuder-Domínguez 115
6. “Auto-hyphen-ethno-hyphen-graphy”: Fred Wah’s Creative-Critical Writing   Joanne Saul 133
III. Artistic/Textual/Bodily Politics
7. Troubling the Mosaic: Larissa Lai’s When Fox Is a Thousand, Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night, and Representations of Social Differences     Christine Kim 153
8. Ken Lum, Paul Wong, and the Aesthetics of Pluralism   Ming Tiampo 179
9. Potent Textuality: Laiwan’s Cyborg Poetics    Tara Lee 201
IV. Global Affiliations
10. “Do not exploit me again and again”: Queering Autoethnography in Suniti Namjoshi’s Goja: An Autobiographical Myth     Eva C. Karpinski 227
11. An Ethnos of Difference, a Praxis of Inclusion: The Ethics of Global Citizenship in Shani Mootoo’s Cereus Blooms at Night     Mariam Pirbhai 247
12. Ying Chen’s “Poetic Rebellion”: Relocating the Dialogue, In Search of Narrative Renewal   Christine Lorre 267
Bibliography 297
Contributors 317
Index 321

978-1-55458-023-1  Wilfrid Laurier University Press