Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian American Writers (Third Edition)

Book cover for "Aiiieee Anthology," by Tara Fickle
Fickle, Tara. Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian American Writers (Third Edition). 2019.

In the eyes of mid-twentieth-century white America, "Aiiieeeee!" was the one-dimensional cry from Asian Americans, their singular expression of all emotions―it signified and perpetuated the idea of Asian Americans as inscrutable, foreign, self-hating, undesirable, and obedient. In this anthology first published in 1974, Frank Chin, Jeffery Chan, Lawson Inada, and Shawn Wong reclaimed that shout, outlining the history of Asian American literature and boldly drawing the boundaries for what was truly Asian American and what was white puppetry. Showcasing fourteen uncompromising works from authors such as Carlos Bulosan and John Okada, the editors introduced readers to a variety of daring voices.

Forty-five years later the radical collection continues to spark controversy. While in the seventies it helped establish Asian American literature as a serious and distinct literary tradition, today the editors' forceful voices reverberate in contemporary discussions about American literary traditions. Now back in print with a new foreword by literary scholar Tara Fickle, this third edition reminds us how Asian Americans fought for―and seized―their place in the American literary canon.

 

Reviews:

The Controversial Origin of Asian American Studies, Paris Review

The Asian-American Canon Breakers, The New Yorker

Fields of Focus: American Studies, Asian American Literary Studies, Cultural Studies, Race and Ethnicity