Growing Up Asian American in Young Adult Fiction

Growing Up Asian American in Young Adult Fiction

Ymitri Mathison

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9781496815064

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi


Growing Up Asian American in Young Adult Fiction focuses on moving beyond stereotypes to examine how Asian American children and adolescents define their unique identities. For these kids, being or considered to be American becomes a challenge in itself as they assert their Asian and American identities; claim their own ethnic identity, be they an immigrant or American-born; and negotiate their ethnic communities. Chapters focus on primary texts from many ethnicities, such as Chinese, Korean, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese, South Asian, and Hawaiian. Individual chapters crossing cultural, linguistic, and racial boundaries revise the traditional white male bildungsroman to negotiate the complex terrain of Asian American children’s and teenagers’ identities. Chapters cover such topics as internalized racism and self-loathing; hyper-sexualization of Asian American females in graphic novels; the fluidity and ambiguity of the biracial or mestizo Filipino male and female’s ethnic and racial identities; interracial friendships between Japanese Americans and Americans of other ethnicities during the Japanese internment; transnational adoptions and birth searches by Korean Americans; food as a means of assimilation and resistance for first generation immigrant Vietnamese American girls; the hostile and alienating environment generated by the War on Terror for South Asian American teenagers; and commodity racism and the tourist gaze as well as self-authorship, interstitial identity, and the ambiguity of motherland in Hawaiian American literature.