This Is All I Choose to Tell: History and Hybridity in Vietnamese American Literature

Posted in Asian Diaspora, Books, Literary/Artistic Criticism, Media Archive, Monographs, United States on 2012-05-30 21:07Z by Steven

This Is All I Choose to Tell: History and Hybridity in Vietnamese American Literature

Temple University Press
November 2010
216 pages
5.5 x 8.5
1 halftone
paper ISBN: 978-1-43990-217-2
cloth ISBN: 978-1-43990-216-5
eBook ISBN: 978-1-43990-218-9

Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies (founder of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN).)
San Francisco State University

An introduction to the themes of a still-evolving American ethnic literature

In the first book-length study of Vietnamese American literature, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud probes the complexities of Vietnamese American identity and politics. She provides an analytical introduction to the literature, showing how generational differences play out in genre and text. In addition, she asks, can the term Vietnamese American be disassociated from representations of the war without erasing its legacy?

Pelaud delineates the historical, social, and cultural terrains of the writing as well as the critical receptions and responses to them. She moves beyond the common focus on the Vietnam war to develop an interpretive framework that integrates post-colonialism with the multi-generational refugee, immigrant, and transnational experiences at the center of Vietnamese American narratives.

Her readings of key works, such as Andrew Pham’s Catfish and Mandala and Lan Cao’s Monkey Bridge show how trauma, race, class and gender play a role in shaping the identities of Vietnamese American characters and narrators.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • Introduction
  • Part I: Inclusion
    • 1. History
    • 2. Overview
    • 3. Hybridity
  • Part II: Interpretation
    • 4. Survival
    • 5. Hope and Despair
    • 6. Reception
  • Conclusion
  • Notes
  • Bibliography
  • Index
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