Asian American Literature
An Encyclopedia for Students
by Keith Lawrence, Editor
August 2021, 445pp, 7x10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-7288-4
$107, £83, 94€, A147
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-7289-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Asian North American writers may be of Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, Indian, Indonesian, Japanese, Laotian, Singaporean, Taiwanese, Transpacific or Polynesian, or Vietnamese descent.

Asian American Literature: An Encyclopedia for Students is an invaluable resource for students curious to know more about Asian North American writers, texts, and the issues and drives that motivate their writing.

This volume collects, in one place, a breadth of information about Asian American literary and cultural history as well as the authors and texts that best define it.

A dozen contextual essays introduce fundamental elements or subcategories of Asian American literature, expanding on social and literary concerns or tensions that are familiar and relevant. Essays include the origins and development of the term “Asian American”; overviews of Asian American and Asian Canadian social and literary histories; essays on Asian American identity, gender issues, and sexuality; and discussions of Asian American rhetoric and children’s literature.

More than 120 alphabetical entries round out the volume and cover important Asian North American authors. Historical information is presented in clear and engaging ways, and author entries emphasize biographical or textual details that are significant to contemporary young adults. Special attention has been given to pioneering authors from the late 19th century through the early 1970s and to influential or well-known contemporary authors, especially those likely to be studied in high school or university classrooms.


  • Provides easily accessible information on more than 120 important Asian American and Asian Canadian writers
  • Summarizes major texts by each author and suggests where readers may find additional information about favorite writers or texts
  • Provides background essays on foundational elements of Asian American and Asian Canadian history, literature, and identity
Keith Lawrence is associate professor of English at Brigham Young University, where he regularly teaches courses in Asian American literature, world literature, and transpacific literature. He is lead editor of Recovered Legacies: Authority and Identity in Early Asian American Literature and Asian Images: A Cultural Anthology of the "Asian" in American Fiction, 1850–1920. He is currently researching a monograph, Shipwrecked in America, which explores how nineteenth-century white American male experiences in or depictions of Asia shaped expectations of and judgments against late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Southeast Asian males writing in the United States.


"Recommended for college and university collections."—Booklist, November 24, 2021

"This new guide is directed primarily at students (middle school through college) and will be useful to them and to general readers, as well as the teachers and libraries helping them."—Library Journal, November 1, 2021

"Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, June 1, 2022
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