Chapter

‘Cheap, On Sale, American Dream’: Contemporary Asian American Women Writers' Responses to American Success Mythologies

Phillipa Kafka

in American Mythologies

Published by Liverpool University Press

Published in print May 2005 | ISBN: 9780853237365
Published online June 2013 | e-ISBN: 9781846312540 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.5949/liverpool/9780853237365.003.0007
‘Cheap, On Sale, American Dream’: Contemporary Asian American Women Writers' Responses to American Success Mythologies

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This chapter draws upon Asian American fiction to explore the concept of syncresis. It discusses authors such as M. Evelina Galang (Her Wild American Self), R. A. Sasaki (The Loom and Other Stories), Gish Jen (Typical American), and Wang Ping (American Visa), who take as their subject matter the generational and cross-cultural differences found in immigrant families from Chinese, Japanese, and Filipina ancestry. The characters in these stories face not only the prejudices and stereotypes typically encountered by first-through third-generation Asian Americans, but also the problems of assimilation into mainstream US society, with the losses from their own ethnic inheritance weighted against the gains from acknowledging their ‘double consciousness’.

Keywords: Asian American fiction; syncresis; cross-cultural differences; immigrant families; assimilation

Chapter.  10352 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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