Alphabetically arranged entries provide biographical, critical, and bibliographical information about 60 Asian American autobiographers.
Asian Americans have made many significant contributions to industry, science, politics, and the arts. At the same time, they have made great sacrifices and endured enormous hardships. This reference examines autobiographies and memoirs written by Asian Americans in the twentieth century. Included are alphabetically arranged entries on 60 major autobiographers of Asian descent. Some of these, such as Meena Alexander and Maxine Hong Kingston, are known primarily for their writings; others, such as Daniel K. Inouye, are known largely for other achievements, which they have chronicled in their autobiographies.
Each entry is written by an expert contributor and provides a reliable account of the autobiographer's life; reviews major autobiographical works and themes, including fictionalized autobiographies and autobiographical novels; presents a meticulously researched account of the critical reception of these works; and closes with a bibliography of primary and secondary sources. An introductory essay considers the history and development of autobiography in American literature and culture and discusses issues and themes vital to Asian American autobiographies and memoirs, such as family, diaspora, nationhood, identity, cultural assimilation, racial dynamics, and the formation of the Asian American literary canon. The volume closes with a selected bibliography.