ABOUT THIS BOOK
Winner of the 2020 Shelley Fisher Fishkin Prize from the American Studies Association
Texts written by Southeast Asian migrants have often been read, taught, and studied under the label of multicultural literature. But what if the ideology of multiculturalism—with its emphasis on authenticity and identifiable cultural difference—is precisely what this literature resists?
Transitive Cultures offers a new perspective on transpacific Anglophone literature, revealing how these chameleonic writers enact a variety of hybrid, transnational identities and intimacies. Examining literature from Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, as well as from Southeast Asian migrants in Canada, Hawaii, and the U.S. mainland, this book considers how these authors use English strategically, as a means for building interethnic alliances and critiquing ruling power structures in both Southeast Asia and North America. Uncovering a wealth of texts from queer migrants, those who resist ethnic stereotypes, and those who feel few ties to their ostensible homelands, Transitive Cultures challenges conventional expectations regarding diaspora and minority writers.