An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora
- PUBLISHED: January 2014
- SUBJECT LISTING: Asian American Studies, Art History / Asian American Art, Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 296 Pages, 7 x 10 in, 62 color illus.
- ISBN: 9780295993195
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
Juxtaposing short stories, poetry, painting, and photographs, Troubling Borders showcases the creative work of women of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao, Thai, and Filipino ancestry. This thematically arranged collection interrupts borders of categorization and gender, in what preface author Shirley Geok-Lin Lim describes as a "leap over the barbed fences that have kept these women apart in these, our United States of America." The sixty-two contributors have been shaped by colonization, wars, globalization, and militarization. For some of these women on the margins of the margin, crafting and showing their work is a bold act in itself. Their provocative and accessible creations tell unique stories, provide sharp contrasts to familiar stereotypes—Southeast Asian women as exotic sex symbols, dragon ladies, prostitutes, or "bar girls"—and serve as entry points for broader discussions about questions of history, memory, and identity.
Authors & Contributors
Isabelle Thuy Pelaud is professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University. Lan Duong is associate professor of cinema and media studies at the University of Southern California. Mariam B. Lam is associate professor of comparative literature and Southeast Asian studies, and associate vice chancellor and chief diversity officer at the University of California, Riverside. Kathy L. Nguyen is a writer and editor in San Francisco.
Preface by Shirley Geok-lin Lim Acknowledgments Introduction by Mariam B. Lam, Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Lan Duong, and Kathy L. Nguyen Part One | Wombs and Wounds: Family Relations in the Diaspora Karen Llagas, Open Vi Ly, Terrain 15 and Terrain 17 Karen Llagas, Manananggal Vi Ly, Postpartum #5 Phayvanh Luekhamhan, Rubber Bands Ann Phong, Mending Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen, Mother Shell Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen, Flesh of My Flesh Linda Saphan, Togetherness Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen, 30 Diep Tran, Visitation Julie Thi Underhill, Tra Cang Monastery Diep Tran, Schools Diep Tran, Tet 1976 Kao Lee Thao, Way of Life Anh-Thu Ngo, Profile of the Life Tree Julie Thi Underhill, Grandma Heang Ly, The Lotus Gift Amy Lee Sanford, Broken Tran Mong Tu, Letter after Thanksgiving Kou Vang, Widow Phayvanh Luekhamhan, April, 1993 Kao Lee Thao, Yukai Phayvanh Luekhamhan, Foreman v. Moorer Amy Lee Sanford, Suspended Phet Mahathongdy, Mother Love Anne Le, Spool Phuong M. Do, Self and Aunts Christilily Chiv, My Mother’s Hands Bleed Kou Vang, Letter from Laos May Lee-Yang, Correspondence from Laos Tran T. Kim-Trang, Still from Epilogue: The Palpable Invisibility of Life Part Two | Coming to Voice: Language, Writing, Literacy Marine Ky, Untitled VI (such as you are, so is the world) Jai Arun Ravine, and then entwine lesson plans, poems, knots Marine Ky, Ted’s Garment Karen Llagas, From a Lighthouse Keeper Linda Saphan, S-21 No Flying Away 1 Barbara Jane Reyes, polyglot incantation Linda Saphan, S-21 No Flying Away 2 Linda Saphan, S-21 No Flying Away 3 Tran Tue Quan, Cuoc noi chien cua nhung identities Tran Tue Quan, The civil war of identities Phuong M. Do, Self and Uncles Souvankham Thammavongsa, The Sun in Flannery O’Connor’s The Violent Bear It Away Reanne Estrada, Keep It Together #5 Souvankham Thammavongsa, This Is the Direction Part Three | Homes and Homelands Gina Osterloh, Impossible Delineation (from the series Blank Attempt) Karen Llagas, Archipelago Dust Gina Osterloh, Anonymous Front (from the series Copy Flat) Anne Le, In the Heart of the Country Gina Osterloh, Blind Rash (from the series Rash Room) Anne Le, The Fish Houses at Go Vap Tiffany Chung, Go Vap Vo Hong Chyong-Dai, National Highway 1 (Vietnam, December 1996) Hong-An Truong, Description #3 (Three Clocks) Vo Hong Chyong-Dai, The Corner of Nguyen Bỉnh Khiem and Tue Tĩnh (Ha Noi, 2005) Kou Vang, Forgotten Vo Hong Chyong-Dai, Across the ocean and beyond the mind Anida Yoeu Ali, Palimpsest for Generation 1.5 (performance) Phayvanh Luekhamhan, I Think of This Every Time I Think of Mountains Azizah Ahmad, Homeless Gina Osterloh, Looking Back, I Accepted Your Invitation (from the series Somewhere Tropical) Anh Thang Dao, Song for a Lost Home Anh Thang Dao, The Pigeon Scandal Jenifer K. Wofford, Point of Departure (Nurse with Cap) Jenifer K. Wofford, Curtain Nurse I Part Four | Loving Sex/Sexing Love Angela Narciso Torres, Cardiac Debbie Nguyen, Dark Green Connie Pham, The Story of Pomegranate Told in Three Pieces Debbie Nguyen, Plum Lian Guow, First and Last Times Kao-Ly Yang, Three Pearls Facing Unfaithfulness Debbie Nguyen, Wood Chau Nguyen, Kisses of Heat Tran T. Kim-Trang, Still from Kore Mong-Lan, On the Tango and Buenos Aires Part Five | Militarized Lives Yer Yang, Virgin Land, Virgin Body Hong-An Truong, Still from Wheel in the Sky Aimee Phan, Excerpt from The Reeducation of Cherry Truong Anida Yoeu Ali, Palimpsest for Generation 1.5 (performance) Pimone Triplett, The Rumor of Necessity Hong-An Truong, Florida 1979 (Love You, Miss You a Lot) Gayle Romasanta, NutDriver Hong-An Truong, Florida 1978 (Goes to Heaven) Kathy L. Nguyen, Excerpt from The Inheritors Barbara Jane Reyes, Call It Talisman (If You Must) Part Six | Asians in America Lin + Lam, This Is Not Me Azizah Ahmad, A Letter to Asian America Melba L. Abela, God Bless America Azizah Ahmad, San Francisco Anne Le, Chinatown Julie Thi Underhill, Progress Report Linda Tran, The Flea Market Ann Phong, Box of Water 2 Melba L. Abela, San Francisco Ab(ove) Normal, 1967–2007 Marsha C. Galicia-Monroe, #6–Other Female Ann Phong, Boats Part Seven | Race, Roots, Religion Nalyne Lunati, Sea Ghost Barbara Jane Reyes, In the City, a New Congregation Finds Her Hong-An Truong, Description #4 (Three Figurines) Davorn Sisavath, The Value of a Catholic Education Nalyne Lunati, Kranok 1 Julie Thi Underhill, Corner Shore Nalyne Lunati, Vihara of the Mind Reanne Estrada, General Tri-Corn (6) Pimone Triplett, Motherland Eliza O. Barrios, Industry of Yoga series Grace Talusan, Boobie Cakes Eliza O. Barrios, Pending Part Eight | Travel Narratives and Narratives That Travel Linda Saphan, Amey on Bike Chi Vu, Suitcases Julie Thi Underhill, Fear of Ambivalence Mai Der Vang, The Sounds of Leaving Rachel Quý Collier, Salt Lake Reanne Estrada, Tenuous (tentatively titled) Pang Houa Moua Toy, Leaving Home Anida Yoeu Ali, Palimpsest for Generation 1.5 (installation view) Mai Der Vang, From Within, a View Part Nine | Speech Acts: Labor, Activism, Resistance Mail Order Brides / M.O.B., Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride (Flowers) Connie Pham, Quarterlife Crisis: A Quiet Activism Emily P. Lawsin, No Moments of Silence (In Memory of Joseph Ileto, Fong Lee, and Chon Buri Xiong) Linda Saphan, Incognito 31 Emily P. Lawsin, Where I Am From (Freewrite Remix) Melba L. Abela, International Worker Tiffany Chung, Here We Go Grace Kong, I Demand Respect Tiffany Chung, Bubble Shooter and Friends Grace Kong, Miss Boss Mail Order Brides / M.O.B., Education Reform Karen Llagas, Imelda Lin + Lam, Stills from Unidentified Viet Nam No. 18 Leakhena Leng, Give Me Your Best Performance Piece Lin + Lam, Stills from Unidentified Viet Nam No. 18 Leakhena Leng, Breathing Fire Performance Piece Mail Order Brides / M.O.B., Through the Looking Glass Epilogue About the Contributors and Editors
"The combination of image with texts complementing and conversing with each other provides a textured, layered engagement with the subject matter."-
"[The] stories told dispel stereotypes and take on the complex challenges of colonialism, militarization, love, resistance, family, migration, and more. They reveal the intersectional and multilayered experiences of Southeast Asian women in the diaspora."-
"Inspiring... uses a collage of art forms to portray varied, and usually under-represented, female identities... [and] shows how marginalized women have become empowered through their fervent and thought-provoking artwork and writings."-
"[A] collection that is at once scholarly yet accessible, purposely fragmented yet also deliberately interconnected, and always centering women in ways that surprise, challenge, and even provoke."-
"Troubling Borders gathers an amazing number of powerful selections of literary writing and visual art. I am struck by how moving, how political, how diverse these selections are. They bear witness to the hauntings of empire and fill gaps in our understanding of the life and imagination of Southeast Asian women. I am awed by this collection."- Thu-huong Nguyen-Vo, author of The Ironies of Freedom
"This book will have a major impact in multiple fields with an intersectional and nuanced evaluation that brings together race, gender, nation, labor, and migration. Timely, productive, provocative, and incontrovertibly interdisciplinary, it will expand the current purview of Southeast Asian/American literary studies."- Cathy J. Schlund—Vials, author of War, Genocide, and Justice