By Pamela Thoma
A quantity within the American Literatures Initiative.
Read Online or Download Asian American Women's Popular Literature: Feminizing Genres and Neoliberal Belonging PDF
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Extra info for Asian American Women's Popular Literature: Feminizing Genres and Neoliberal Belonging
2 / Asian American Mother-Daughter Narrative and the Neoliberal American Dream of Transformative Femininity Like every Asian American woman in her late twenties, I had the idea of writing an epic novel about mother-daughter relationships spanning several generations, based loosely on my own family’s story. This was before Sophia was born, when I was living in New York, trying to figure out what I was doing working at a Wall Street law firm. —amy chua, battle hymn of the tiger mother With the January 2011 publication of the essay “Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior” in the Wall Street Journal, Yale University law professor Amy Chua created a media spectacle about mothering in the United States that starred Asian American women.
In search of meaningful professional careers, the heroines of these novels encounter a marketplace in which production and consumption are intertwined, and good citizen-workers are “flex subjects” who continually cultivate and reinvent the self by demonstrating marketplace expertise (Weber 39). That is, in addition to the qualifications specific to occupations, they must display “romantic consumerism” or taste distinctions about the ever-expanding range of commodities available under neoliberalism (J.
Tapia has recently observed, US citizen-subjects are born and reborn through different maternities in the racialized productions of the maternal in public discourse (24). Recontextualizing Asian American mother-daughter narratives within the constraints of neoliberal belonging, this chapter’s analysis of 40â•‡ /â•‡ asian american mother-daughter narrative Patti Kim’s A Cab Called Reliable (1997) and Lan Cao’s Monkey Bridge (1997) starts with the premise that to claim full citizenship in the United States, female subjects, and especially women of color who are distanced from power, are compelled to participate in bourgeois motherhood.
Asian American Women's Popular Literature: Feminizing Genres and Neoliberal Belonging by Pamela Thoma