The Remasculinization of Chinese America

Viet Thanh Nguyen

in Race and Resistance

Published in print April 2002 | ISBN: 9780195146998
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780199787890 | DOI:
 The Remasculinization of Chinese America

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This chapter looks at the works of Frank Chin and Gus Lee, who follow a long line of American authors before them by writing about how men use violence both to regenerate themselves, and to become representatives of a larger ethnic and national community. It is through violence that Asian Americans are first marked by others as aliens, and then marked by themselves as Americans. Chin and Lee take up this irony in their novels Donald Duk, China Boy, and Honor and Duty, which are Asian American examples of the bildungsroman. For these Chinese American authors, using the bildungsroman both proclaims a public identity for themselves and their subjects, and reenacts exclusionary processes of violence found in traditional representations, this time directed at Chinese American women and African American men. These novels demonstrate that violence is an initiation for immigrants, Asian and otherwise, into the complexities of American inclusion and exclusion.

Keywords: African American; alien; bildungsroman; Frank Chin; Chinese American; ethnic; Gus Lee; national; novel; violence

Chapter.  10075 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (1500 to 1800)

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