Intro Lit: Culture (Amy Tan Who? Early Asian Amer Lit 1890-1960)

The popularity of writers Amy Tan and Maxine Hong Kingston may lead
some to believe that they were the first to compose Asian American literature.  Asian American writers were actually composing
poetry, short stories, novels and plays long before Tan and Kingston were even
born.  This course will introduce
students to some of the earliest publications by authors in America of Chinese,
Japanese, Filipino and Korean descent and the context in which these texts were
produced.  What was it like to be the
first Chinese woman to publish a story in the 1890s?  How did a Japanese young man fight in a war
for America when his heart was loyal to Japan? 
What was life in the Honolulu plantation camps like for a teenage
Filipina?  Why would a young Filipino
sacrifice his life for the “American dream”?  What did young Koreans give up to “get ahead”?

 Books needed for the class (available at UH-Mānoa bookstore):

Fifth Chinese Daughter, Jade
Snow Wong

No-no Boy, John Okada

Tomorrow’s Memories: A Diary,
, Angeles Monrayo Raymundo

America is in the Heart: A
Personal History
, Carlos Bulosan

Clay Walls: A Novel Kim

Handouts provided by instructor