Self-Referential Narrative and Creative Filiation in Chinese American Writing: Maxine Hong Kingston and Shirley Geok-lin Lim

  • Nicoleta Alexoae Zagni, ISTOM and Université Paris Ouest, France

Abstract

This paper aims at discussing Shirley Geok-lin Lim’s 1996 memoir – Among the White Moon Faces – as inviting a conceptualisation and examination of lineage conceived otherwise than (only) on a biological mode. I am interested in showing that when the question of filiation is examined from a literary perspective and focuses on different possible relations to a writer and a narrative belonging to a different generation, it is also intimately related to an attitude towards cultural heritage.

    My basic postulation is that references to The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts, a seminal and uniquely innovative work in (Chinese) American letters are visible on a double level, diegetic and extradiegetic, and weave a fruitful relationship not only with the conceptualisations of self-representation that emerge in Kingston’s first opus, but also with the narrative and discursive configurations that sustain them. By tracing and analysing these different echoes and resonances it will be evinced how in Lim’s and Kingston’s case, the questions of heritage or, forthat matter, the one of transmission, go beyond the simple following in someone’s footsteps or unilateralism to which they are usually reduced, weaving into the literary field other connections than those established by chronology or aesthetics.

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Author Biography

Nicoleta Alexoae Zagni, ISTOM and Université Paris Ouest, France

Nicoleta Alexoae-Zagni is currently a lecturer in a French Higher Education College (ISTOM) and a researcher affiliated with CREA (Paris Ouest Nanterre University). She received her PhD in AmericanStudies from the University of Paris Diderot in 2011. She has been active in the field of Asian American Studies –she has been involved in academic events, published several articles and presented papers on subjects relative to her area of scientific investigation. Her most recent contribution is the volume edited with Sämi Ludwig On the Legacy of Maxine Hong Kingston: The Mulhouse Book, published in January 2014 by Lit Verlag,in the series Contributions to Asian American Literary Studies.

Published
2014-06-15
How to Cite
Zagni, ISTOM and Université Paris Ouest, France, N. A. (2014). Self-Referential Narrative and Creative Filiation in Chinese American Writing: Maxine Hong Kingston and Shirley Geok-lin Lim. Asiatic: IIUM Journal of English Language and Literature, 8(1), 97-113. Retrieved from https://journals.iium.edu.my/asiatic/index.php/AJELL/article/view/456
Section
Articles on Shirley Geok-lin Lim