2005 2004 2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
2004 2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
2002 2001 OTHER SECTIONS
With the understanding that in retrospect, Asian Americans have not inhabited the United States for many generations (not in comparison to other races); I feel that the general public, including literature professors and other intellectuals do not fully understand the Asian American, the rich experience that is a default action of their lives, and I believe that clarity is a necessity prior to Asian Americans' movement forward in both the literary world and all other sects of American culture and society. Many of the books that I have read were adorned with accolades and praise from prestigious institutions and reputable sources such as "The New York Times Book Review" and "Vanity Fair".
One thing that I found immediately disturbing was the misuse of the term immigrant. According to the American Heritage Dictionary, an immigrant is defined as:
What I found disturbing was that a very important point was being overlooked. The term immigrant was being used to also describe the immigrants' children. The novel "Native Speaker" is a story about Henry, and his experiences as an Asian growing up in America. And although by definition his parents, the ones who left their native Korean to move to America are by definition immigrants, he is not. Nor are the other multitudes of Asian Americans who are often clumped collectively as immigrants- this is problematic because the misuse of the term connotes an attached stigma of foreignness or a sense of not belonging to a group of people who are in fact not foreign.
However, it was this problemI had with the usage of the term immigrant and the other term 'immigrant experience' that led me to further investigate the difference amongst Asian Americans and the complexity of their relationships with one another and also with those outside of their race. Throughout history, different races, such as the African Americans dealt with the notion that if a certain people were able to prove themselves, give themselves a sense of value by showing others and themselves that they were able to create something beautiful- their race would rise to a new level.