November 5, 2018
Award-winning authors Shirley Lim and Karen Yamashita held a series of lectures and discussion sessions in Shanghai and Beijing last month as part of USCET’s continuing Asian American Author Series.
The two authors highlighted American diversity and gave Chinese audiences a glimpse of America through the eyes of Asian Americans.
Both authors were hosted at a number of prominent universities and institutes including Renmin University, the Beijing American Center, Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), Literary Shanghai, East China Normal University (ECNU), Duke Kunshan University, and the Shanghai American Center during their one-week, two-city tour.
During their one-week, two-city tour, both authors were hosted at a number of prominent universities and institutes including Renmin University, the Beijing American Center, Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), Literary Shanghai, East China Normal University (ECNU), Duke Kunshan University, and the Shanghai American Center.
Lim, (Pictured, right, at Beijing Foreign Studies University) a Malaysian-American writer and professor at the University of California – Santa Barbara, immigrated to the United States in her early 20s. Much of her lectures and discussions focused on the trauma and determination she felt during her immigration process. On that topic, she also discussed her award-winning novel, Among the White Moon Faces.
Later, Lim spoke on the diasporic writing coming out of Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. She compared the popular film Crazy Rich Asians to modern Singaporean literature, critiquing the former for its shallow portrayal of common Asian stereotypes. In this way, she both educated Chinese students and instructors about the image of Asians in Western media and provided examples of more sophisticated Chinese diasporic literature for them to read.
Yamashita, (Pictured, right, at Beijing American Center) a Japanese-American writer and professor at the University of California –Santa Cruz, shared her personal experiences and academic expertise. Yamashita gave presentations about the writers who have influenced her throughout her career, her personal journey through her engagement with Asian American literature, and the origins and role of the academic field of Asian American studies.
In her talk at Duke Kunshan, Yamashita recounted how injustice experienced by her family, who was interned in California during WWII, inspired her to rediscover her Japanese heritage. She discussed the difficulties she experienced returning to Japan, as well as the cultural “rules” that exist in Japan, Brazil (where her husband is from), and the United States. Ultimately, she strove to demonstrate that race is a social construct, and that in spite of our cultural differences, we are all part of a common humanity.
Together, Lim and Yamashita, despite their different linguistic backgrounds and life experiences, succeeded in connecting with their audiences. The two authors join Cheryl Tan, Helen Zia, Gish Jen, and Shawn Wong as past participants of the Asian American Author Series.
The Asian American Author Series, which launched in November 2012 with award-winning Chinese American author Gish Jen, introduces Asian American authors and literature to Chinese audiences.
获奖作家Shirley Lim和Karen Yamashita上个月在上海和北京举办了一系列讲座和讨论会，作为中美教育基金会亚裔美籍作家系列的一部分。
这两位作家加入Cheryl Tan, Helen Zia, Gish Jen, and Shawn Wong，成为了亚裔美籍作家系列的一员。