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"Min Hyoung Song makes a persuasive case for a return to deep reading: the careful, loving attention to the literary text, couched within a social and political consciousness. He reminds us of the beauty to be found within the pages of the Asian American novel, short story, and poem, as well as of the brilliant testimony embedded in those works, evidence of the experiences of both the children of 1965 and their parents. Song's ambitious book not only surveys the growing field of contemporary Asian American literature, but is itself a milestone in Asian American literary history."—Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of Race and Resistance: Literature and Politics in Asian America
"In this work of celebration and criticism, Min Hyoung Song charts a new path forward for engaging the latest—and the most successful—wave of Asian American literature. In addition to offering some amazing literary criticism and analysis, Song interviews some of today's most important Asian American writers to discuss their work and life. The resulting book is in equal measure a stunning work of literary criticism and a fascinating social commentary on how Asian American literature is produced and read."—Edward J. W. Park, coauthor of Probationary Americans: Contemporary Immigration Policies and the Shaping of Asian American Communities
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Since the 1990s, a new cohort of Asian American writers has garnered critical and popular attention. Many of its members are the children of Asians who came to the United States after the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 lifted long-standing restrictions on immigration. This new generation encompasses writers as diverse as the graphic novelists Adrian Tomine and Gene Luen Yang, the short story writer Nam Le, and the poet Cathy Park Hong. Having scrutinized more than one hundred works by emerging Asian American authors and having interviewed several of these writers, Min Hyoung Song argues that collectively, these works push against existing ways of thinking about race, even as they demonstrate how race can facilitate creativity. Some of the writers eschew their identification as ethnic writers, while others embrace it as a means of tackling the uncertainty that many people feel about the near future. In the literature that they create, a number of the writers that Song discusses take on pressing contemporary matters such as demographic change, environmental catastrophe, and the widespread sense that the United States is in national decline.