Transpacific Cartographies examines how contemporary Chinese diasporic narratives address the existential loss of home for immigrant communities at a time of global precarity and amid rising Sino-US tensions. Focusing on cultural productions of the Chinese diaspora from the 1990s to the present -- including novels by the Sinophone writers Yan Geling (The Criminal Lu Yanshi), Shi Yu (New York Lover), Chen Qian (Listen to the Caged Bird Sing), and Rong Rong (Notes of a Couple), as well as by the Anglophone writer Ha Jin (A Free Life; A Map of Betrayal), selected TV shows (Beijinger in New York; The Way We Were), and online literature -- Melody Yunzi Li argues that the characters in these stories create multilayered maps that transcend the territorial boundaries that make finding a home in a foreign land a seemingly impossible task. In doing so, these “maps” outline a transpacific landscape that reflects the psycho-geography of homemaking for diasporic communities. Intersecting with and bridging Sinophone studies, Chinese American studies, and diaspora studies and drawing on theories of literary cartography, Transpacific Cartographies demonstrates how these “maps” offer their readers different paths for finding a sense of home no matter where they are.
1 Mapping Experiences of De/Reterritorialization: Ha Jin’s A Map of Betrayal
2 Cartographing Carceral Dystopia in the Mao Era: Yan Geling’s The Criminal Lu Yanshi
3 Affective Mapping of Touristic Diasporic Experience
4 Palimpsestic Map of the American and Chinese Dreams: Contested Sites in Overseas Chinese Immigrant Stories
Coda: Charting an Online Chinese Diasporic Literary Map
Acknowledgments Notes Bibliography Index
MELODY YUNZI LI is an assistant professor in Chinese studies at the University of Houston, Texas. She is the coeditor of Affective Geographies and Narratives of Chinese Diaspora.
"Transpacific Cartographies is particularly refreshing and capacious. Focusing on the 'new immigrants' to the U.S. from China since the 1980s, this book expands the study of Chinese American experience to transnational and translingual negotiations in the dire times of Sinophobia and U.S.-China contention. Carefully engaging Sinophone texts with discourses of diaspora and geocriticism, Li sheds light on the powers of mapping and 'homemaking' with which Chinese diasporic communities navigate being and belonging."
~Chih-ming Wang, author of Transpacific Articulations: Study Abroad and the Remaking of Asian America
"Transpacific Cartographies examines diasporic psycho-social instabilities and emergences in timely, fresh, coherent ways never done before. At a time of perilous, if not phobic, interactions between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, Melody Li’s focus on the reworlding dynamics and transpacific complexities of “home” from bilingual and diasporic writers like Ha Jin and Yan Geling create insights that are everywhere fresh, poetic, transcultural, uncanny, and elegant."
~Rob Sean Wilson, author of Reimagining the American Pacific: From South Pacific to Bamboo Ridge and Beyond