Cities of Others: Reimagining Urban Spaces in Asian American by Xiaojing Zhou

By Xiaojing Zhou

Asian American literature abounds with advanced depictions of yankee towns as areas that strengthen racial segregation and stop interactions throughout barriers of race, tradition, classification, and gender. in spite of the fact that, in towns of Others, Xiaojing Zhou uncovers a miles assorted narrative, offering the main entire exam to this point of ways Asian American writers―both celebrated and overlooked―depict city settings. Zhou is going past analyzing renowned portrayals of Chinatowns by way of paying equivalent realization to lifestyles in different elements of the town. Her leading edge and wide-ranging process sheds new gentle at the works of chinese language, Filipino, Indian, jap, Korean, and Vietnamese American writers who endure witness to quite a few city studies and reimagine the yank urban as except a segregated nation-space.

Drawing on serious theories on area from city geography, ecocriticism, and postcolonial experiences, Zhou indicates how spatial association shapes id within the works of Sui Sin some distance, 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 id of the yankee urban. From a reimagining of the nineteenth-century flaneur determine in an Asian American context to delivering a framework that enables readers to determine ethnic enclaves and American towns as collectively constitutive and transformative, Zhou supplies us a provocative new solution to comprehend the most very important works of Asian American literature.

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Cities of Others: Reimagining Urban Spaces in Asian American Literature

Asian American literature abounds with complicated depictions of yank towns as areas that toughen racial segregation and forestall interactions throughout barriers of race, tradition, category, and gender. in spite of the fact that, in towns of Others, Xiaojing Zhou uncovers a miles various narrative, offering the main complete exam thus far of ways Asian American writers―both celebrated and overlooked―depict city settings.

Extra info for Cities of Others: Reimagining Urban Spaces in Asian American Literature

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As symbols of conspicuous display or of lower-class and sexual disorder, they occupied a multivalent symbolic position in this imaginary landscape” (414). The “public symbol of female vice” and “embodiment of the corporeal smells and animal passions that the rational bourgeois male had repudiated and that the virtuous woman, the spiritualized ‘angel in the house,’ had suppressed,” Walkowitz contends, “the prostitute established a stark contrast to domesticated feminine virtue as well as to male bourgeois identity” (414).

For example, in “Chinatown Needs a School,” Sui Sin Far incorporates Chinatown residents’ perspectives in her story: “Mrs. Sing, the most prominent Chinese woman in Los Angeles . . says I was misinformed as to her visit to San Francisco. . Mrs. Sing’s great hope is that before long a government school will be established in Chinatown for the Chinese boys and girls who are above the age of 10 or 12. 13 While arguing for a public school in Chinatown and for the admission of Chinese children into American schools, Sui Sin Far shows that Chinese immigrants and their American-born children integrated Chinese and European American cultures in their homes as well as in the public spaces of Chinatown, where in juxtaposition to a missionary English school and “several Christian Chinese families,” “three joss houses [stood] conspicuous” (“In Los Angeles’ Chinatown” 199).

Such representation of gendered interracial friendship, though it reiterates to a certain degree white superiority embodied by white women, counters dominant narratives about the degradation of white wom- S u i Si n Fa r anhood by lascivious Chinese men who use opium to lure white women. Representations of white women’s victimization by Chinese men not only perpetuate the “yellow peril” myth, but they also reinforce raced and gendered hierarchy. Sui Sin Far’s re-representation of white women in her stories, then, undermines both racism against Chinese men and sexism against white women.

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