A Floating Chinaman

A Floating Chinaman
Author: Hua Hsu
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Total Pages: 287
Release: 2016-06-07
Genre: Literary Criticism
ISBN: 067496926X

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Who gets to speak for China? During the interwar years, when American condescension toward “barbarous” China yielded to a fascination with all things Chinese, a circle of writers sparked an unprecedented public conversation about American-Chinese relations. Hua Hsu tells the story of how they became ensnared in bitter rivalries over which one could claim the title of America’s leading China expert. The rapturous reception that greeted The Good Earth—Pearl Buck’s novel about a Chinese peasant family—spawned a literary market for sympathetic writings about China. Stories of enterprising Americans making their way in a land with “four hundred million customers,” as Carl Crow said, found an eager audience as well. But on the margins—in Chinatowns, on Ellis Island, and inside FBI surveillance memos—a different conversation about the possibilities of a shared future was taking place. A Floating Chinaman takes its title from a lost manuscript by H. T. Tsiang, an eccentric Chinese immigrant writer who self-published a series of visionary novels during this time. Tsiang discovered the American literary market to be far less accommodating to his more skeptical view of U.S.-China relations. His “floating Chinaman,” unmoored and in-between, imagines a critical vantage point from which to understand the new ideas of China circulating between the world wars—and today, as well.

Every Day I Write the Book

Every Day I Write the Book
Author: Amitava Kumar
Publisher: Duke University Press
Total Pages: 168
Release: 2020-03-27
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
ISBN: 1478007192

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Amitava Kumar's Every Day I Write the Book is for academic writers what Annie Dillard's The Writing Life and Stephen King's On Writing are for creative writers. Alongside Kumar's interviews with an array of scholars whose distinct writing offers inspiring examples for students and academics alike, the book's pages are full of practical advice about everything from how to write criticism to making use of a kitchen timer. Communication, engagement, honesty: these are the aims and sources of good writing. Storytelling, attention to organization, solid work habits: these are its tools. Kumar's own voice is present in his essays about the writing process and in his perceptive and witty observations on the academic world. A writing manual as well as a manifesto, Every Day I Write the Book will interest and guide aspiring writers everywhere.

Transpacific Imaginations

Transpacific Imaginations
Author: Yunte Huang
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Total Pages: 203
Release: 2008-02-28
Genre: Literary Criticism
ISBN: 0674026373

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Transpacific Imaginations is a study of how American literature is enmeshed with the literatures of Asia. The book begins with Western encounters with the Pacific: Yunte Huang reads Moby Dick as a Pacific work, looks at Henry AdamsÕs not talking about his travels in Japan and the Pacific basin in his autobiography, and compares Mark Twain to Liang Qichao. Huang then turns to Asian American encounters with the Pacific, concentrating on the "Angel Island" poems and on works by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Lawson Fusao Inada, and Araki Yasusada. HuangÕs argument that the Pacific forms American literature more than is generally acknowledged is a major contribution to our understanding of literary history. The book is in dialogue with cross-cultural studies of the Pacific and with contemporary innovative poetics. Huang has found a vehicle to join Asians and Westerners at the deepest level, and that vehicle is poetry. Poets can best imagine an ethical ground upon which different people join hands. Huang asks us to contribute to this effort by understanding the poets and writers already in the process of linking diverse peoples.

The Hanging on Union Square

The Hanging on Union Square
Author: H. T. Tsiang
Publisher: Penguin
Total Pages: 242
Release: 2019-05-21
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0143134027

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A subversively comic, genre-bending satire of bourgeois life by an essential Chinese American voice, featuring an introduction by New Yorker writer Hua Hsu, author of the acclaimed memoir Stay True A Penguin Classic It's Depression-era New York, and Mr. Nut, an oblivious American everyman, wants to strike it rich, even if at the moment he's unemployed, with no job prospects in sight. Over the course of a single night, in a narrative that unfolds hour by hour, he meets a cast of strange characters—disgruntled workers at a Communist cafeteria, lecherous old men, sexually exploited women, pesky authors—who eventually convince him to cast off his bourgeois aspirations for upward mobility and become a radical activist. Absurdist, inventive, and suffused with revolutionary fervor, and culminating in a dramatic face-off against capitalist power in the figure of the greedy businessman Mr. System, The Hanging on Union Square is a work of blazing wit and originality. More than eighty years after it was self-published, having been rejected by dozens of baffled publishers, it has become a classic of Asian American literature—a satirical send-up of class politics and capitalism and a shout of populist rage that still resonates today. Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month with these three Penguin Classics: America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan (9780143134039) East Goes West by Younghill Kang (9780143134305) The Hanging on Union Square by H. T. Tsiang (9780143134022)

The Dead Do Not Improve

The Dead Do Not Improve
Author: Jay Caspian Kang
Publisher: Hogarth
Total Pages: 274
Release: 2012-08-07
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0307953904

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Hailed as The Awl’s 2012’s novel to anticipate, this glorious debut stars hippie detectives, a singular city, and an MFA student on the run. On a residential Bay Area block struggling with the collision of gentrifier condos and longtime residents, stymied recent MFA grad Philip Kim is sleeping the night away when bullets fly through a window in his apartment building and end up killing one of his neighbors. Philip only learns about the murder the next day when bored and Googling himself. But when he gets caught up in the investigation and becomes the focus of an elaborate, violent scheme, he will learn far more than he ever wanted to about his former four-eggs-at-a-time borrowing neighbor Dolores Stone, aka “The Grey Beaver,” and her shocking connections to an underworld only a city like this one could create. Siddhartha “Sid” Finch, a homicide detective bitter about everything except his gorgeous wife, and his phlegmatic, pock-marked partner Jim Kim, land the case. Sid and Jim race after Philip through a menacing, unknowable San Francisco fending off militant surfers, vaguely European cafes, and aggressive Advanced Creative Writing students as they all try to figure out just who’s causing trouble in this city they love to hate. Exceedingly unique, pulsing with vigor and heart, and loaded with fierce, fresh language, The Dead Do Not Improve confirms Jay Caspian Kang as a true American original as obsessed with surfing and surviving as with the power of unforgettable storytelling.

A Chinaman's Chance

A Chinaman's Chance
Author: Eric Liu
Publisher: PublicAffairs
Total Pages: 241
Release: 2014-07-08
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 1610391950

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From Tony Hsieh to Amy Chua to Jeremy Lin, Chinese Americans are now arriving at the highest levels of American business, civic life, and culture. But what makes this story of immigrant ascent unique is that Chinese Americans are emerging at just the same moment when China has emerged -- and indeed may displace America -- at the center of the global scene. What does it mean to be Chinese American in this moment? And how does exploring that question alter our notions of just what an American is and will be? In many ways, Chinese Americans today are exemplars of the American Dream: during a crowded century and a half, this community has gone from indentured servitude, second-class status and outright exclusion to economic and social integration and achievement. But this narrative obscures too much: the Chinese Americans still left behind, the erosion of the American Dream in general, the emergence -- perhaps -- of a Chinese Dream, and how other Americans will look at their countrymen of Chinese descent if China and America ever become adversaries. As Chinese Americans reconcile competing beliefs about what constitutes success, virtue, power, and purpose, they hold a mirror up to their country in a time of deep flux. In searching, often personal essays that range from the meaning of Confucius to the role of Chinese Americans in shaping how we read the Constitution to why he hates the hyphen in "Chinese-American," Eric Liu pieces together a sense of the Chinese American identity in these auspicious years for both countries. He considers his own public career in American media and government; his daughter's efforts to hold and release aspects of her Chinese inheritance; and the still-recent history that made anyone Chinese in America seem foreign and disloyal until proven otherwise. Provocative, often playful but always thoughtful, Liu breaks down his vast subject into bite-sized chunks, along the way providing insights into universal matters: identity, nationalism, family, and more.

China Men

China Men
Author: Maxine Hong Kingston
Publisher: Vintage
Total Pages: 321
Release: 1989-04-23
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 0679723285

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The author chronicles the lives of three generations of Chinese men in America, woven from memory, myth and fact. Here's a storyteller's tale of what they endured in a strange new land.

To Live and Defy in LA

To Live and Defy in LA
Author: Felicia Angeja Viator
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Total Pages: 353
Release: 2020-02-25
Genre: Social Science
ISBN: 0674976363

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How gangsta rap shocked America, made millions, and pulled back the curtain on an urban crisis. How is it that gangsta rap—so dystopian that it struck aspiring Brooklyn rapper and future superstar Jay-Z as “over the top”—was born in Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood, surf, and sun? In the Reagan era, hip-hop was understood to be the music of the inner city and, with rare exception, of New York. Rap was considered the poetry of the street, and it was thought to breed in close quarters, the product of dilapidated tenements, crime-infested housing projects, and graffiti-covered subway cars. To many in the industry, LA was certainly not hard-edged and urban enough to generate authentic hip-hop; a new brand of black rebel music could never come from La-La Land. But it did. In To Live and Defy in LA, Felicia Viator tells the story of the young black men who built gangsta rap and changed LA and the world. She takes readers into South Central, Compton, Long Beach, and Watts two decades after the long hot summer of 1965. This was the world of crack cocaine, street gangs, and Daryl Gates, and it was the environment in which rappers such as Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, and Eazy-E came of age. By the end of the 1980s, these self-styled “ghetto reporters” had fought their way onto the nation’s radio and TV stations and thus into America’s consciousness, mocking law-and-order crusaders, exposing police brutality, outraging both feminists and traditionalists with their often retrograde treatment of sex and gender, and demanding that America confront an urban crisis too often ignored.

The Book of the Damned

The Book of the Damned
Author: Charles Fort
Publisher: Library of Alexandria
Total Pages: 442
Release: 2020-09-28
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 1613106424

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"Time travel, UFOs, mysterious planets, stigmata, rock-throwing poltergeists, huge footprints, bizarre rains of fish and frogs-nearly a century after Charles Fort's Book of the Damned was originally published, the strange phenomenon presented in this book remains largely unexplained by modern science. Through painstaking research and a witty, sarcastic style, Fort captures the imagination while exposing the flaws of popular scientific explanations. Virtually all of his material was compiled and documented from reports published in reputable journals, newspapers and periodicals because he was an avid collector. Charles Fort was somewhat of a recluse who spent most of his spare time researching these strange events and collected these reports from publications sent to him from around the globe. This was the first of a series of books he created on unusual and unexplained events and to this day it remains the most popular. If you agree that truth is often stranger than fiction, then this book is for you"--Taken from Good Reads website.

Transpacific Community

Transpacific Community
Author: Richard Jean So
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Total Pages: 303
Release: 2016-05-31
Genre: Literary Criticism
ISBN: 023154183X

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In the turbulent years after World War I, a transpacific community of American and Chinese writers and artists emerged to forge new ideas regarding aesthetics, democracy, internationalism, and the political possibilities of art. Breaking with preconceived notions of an "exotic" East, the Americans found in China and in the works of Chinese intellectuals inspiration for leftist and civil rights movements. Chinese writers and intellectuals looked to the American tradition of political democracy to inform an emerging Chinese liberalism. This interaction reflected an unprecedented integration of American and Chinese cultures and a remarkable synthesis of shared ideals and political goals. The transpacific community that came together during this time took advantage of new advances in technology and media, such as the telegraph and radio, to accelerate the exchange of ideas. It created a fast-paced, cross-cultural dialogue that transformed the terms by which the United States and China—or, more broadly, "West" and "East"—knew each other. Transpacific Community follows the left-wing journalist Agnes Smedley's campaign to free the author Ding Ling from prison; Pearl Buck's attempt to fuse Jeffersonian democracy with late Qing visions of equality in The Good Earth; Paul Robeson's collaboration with the musician Liu Liangmo, which drew on Chinese and African American traditions; and the writer Lin Yutang's attempt to create a typewriter for Chinese characters. Together, these individuals produced political projects that synthesized American and Chinese visions of equality and democracy and imagined a new course for East-West relations.