Gendered Home and Space for the Diaspora: Gish JenÃ¢â¬â¢s <i>Typical American</i>
Keywords:Gish Jen, Typical American, Chinese diaspora, diasporic literature, domestic, communal, and social space
AbstractThis article explores the strategy of three first-generation male and female Chinese American characters in their reconstruction of home and space (domestic, communal, and social) in the U.S. from the late 1940s to the 1960s in Gish JenÃ¢â¬â¢s novel Ã¢â¬" Typical American (1991). The discussion is focused on how JenÃ¢â¬â¢s novel conflates space, culture, and gender relations through the experiences of the Chinese diaspora that crosses geopolitical, national, and cultural borders. Drawing upon critical perspectives in Asian American studies and feminist geography, this article examines how these diaspora men and women negotiate a new space between their Ã¢â¬Ånative cultureÃ¢â¬Â and the Ã¢â¬Åhost societyÃ¢â¬Â in response to their displacement based on gender and race, when their respective spatiality is crisscrossed with their unceasingly adjusted relations with one another Ã¢â¬" as husband and wife (Ralph and Helen) and as brother and sister (Ralph and Theresa).
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