Published In

Canadian Literature: A Quarterly of Criticism and Review

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2008


Asian Canadian -- Literary Criticism, Asian Canadians -- Literary collections, Asian Canadians -- Ethnic identity


In Lieu of an abstract, here is the first paragraph of the article:

In the special Amerasia issue titled “Pacific Canada: Beyond the 49th Parallel,” editor Henry Yu notes that despite similar thematic concerns in Asian Canadian and Asian American cultural production, works by Asian Canadian artists are also “entangled in broader cultural and political formations that speak to the importance of First Nations struggles” (xviii). The centrality of First Nations struggles in the Canadian political and cultural landscape is reflected in the representation of Native culture in Asian Canadian texts. Though these representations vary, Native presence in works such as Joy Kogawa’s Obasan and its sequel, Itsuka, SKY Lee’s Disappearing Moon Cafe, Kevin Chong’s Baroque-a-Nova, Fred Wah’s Diamond Grill, Helen Lee’s short film Prey, and the recently published Chinese Canadian and Native anthology Eating Stories, edited by Brandy Lien Worrall, signals an important avenue of comparative analysis for Asian Canadian studies. Current comparative Asian Canadian scholarship focuses primarily on the relationship between Asian Canadian and Asian American experiences, often situating these analyses within a transnational or a diasporic framework. Given both countries’ similar Asian immigration history and the growing interest on Asian diasporas and transnational circuitries, a comparative Asian North American literature seems to be an obvious field of study.1 Addressing the many references to Native peoples in Asian Canadian writing, however, reconfigures Asian immigration within a colonial settler history and illuminates the particularities of Asian Canadian racial formation within a transnational US-Canadian framework.


Published originally on the Open Journal Systems platform by The University of British Columbia.

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