MELUS

A journal concentrating on multi-ethnic American literature for the academic audience.

Articles from Vol. 26, No. 1, Spring

Authentic Watermelon: Maxine Hong Kingston's American Novel
I did not read any reviews of Roots that judged whether or not Alex Haley's characters ate watermelon or had rhythm. (Kingston, "Cultural" 57) "That's like saying that LeRoi Jones is as good as a watermelon. `Yum yum, authentic watermelon.'" (Kingston,...
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"Chinese and Dogs" in Amy Tan's the Hundred Secret Senses: Ethnicizing the Primitive a la New Age
New Age Marianna Torgovnick's Gone Primitive: Savage Intellects, Modern Lives (1990) takes the pulse of the contemporary world in such a way that it sheds light on Amy Tan: [A]n essential fact of urban life in the last decades of the twentieth...
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Depictions of the Irish in Frank Webb's the Garies and Their Friends and Frances E. W. Harper's Trial and Triumph
In the 1991 movie The Commitments, Jimmy, the manager of an aspiring Dublin soul band, convinces a band member skeptical of playing African American music that the band's class background makes them black. He argues: "The Irish are the Blacks of Europe....
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Dis/engagement. Zitkala-Sa's Letters to Carlos Montezuma, 1901-1902
During the period when Zitkala-Sa wrote and published OM Indian Legends and several stories in popular magazines such as Harper's Monthly, she also corresponded regularly with Carlos Montezuma, a physician in private practice in Chicago to whom she...
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"Entering the Silence": Voice, Ethnicity, and the Pedagogy of Creative Writing
The paradoxical nature of silence and its relation to ethnicity is starkly portrayed in a disturbing scene late in Maxine Hong Kingston's memoir The Woman Warrior (1975), a mixed-genre work that blends myth, folklore, family history, ghost story, bildungsroman...
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Independence and Interdependence: Relationships in Selected Pieces of the Voices We Carry
Alberto Manguel in an essay discussing the genre of anthologies suggests that an anthologist "proposes a certain angle from which the new reader can observe the story in question" (Manguel 4). For Manguel, "an anthologist is a reader with a purpose"...
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Invisible Detection: The Case of Walter Mosley
In the years since Chester Himes's success in the 1950s and 60s, there has been a comparative dearth of African American detective fiction. The genre was once perceived by African Americans as trivial or, given its primarily white focus, irrelevant....
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"Radio Imagination": Octavia Butler on the Poetics of Narrative Embodiment
I realize that I have been writing about people for years and I've never seen any of them. I have the kind of imagination that hears. I think of it as radio imagination. I like radio a lot, better than I do television; and, really, I have to go back...
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Toward a Multicultural Pedagogy: Literary and Nonliterary Traditions
Introduction: Multicultural Critical Backgrounds Over the last two decades, coincident with the broadening of the literary canon, multicultural scholars have produced a vast amount of critical and pedagogical literature. Despite these advances,...
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`We Were Working on an Erotic Song Cycle': Reading Carole Maso's AVA as the Poetics of Female Italian-American Cultural and Sexual Identity
Throughout my childhood, I was brought up to be Italian and I was brought up to be American: two distinct identities not to be merged but to exist somehow simultaneously not quite one and not exactly the other, in a kind of hybrid state. But what did...
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"Wheat and Potatoes": Reconstructing Whiteness in O. E. Rolvaag's Immigrant Trilogy
In a particularly tense scene in O. E. Rolvaag's novel of Norwegian immigration to the Great Plains, Giants in the Earth (1927), Per Hansa convinces his fellow Norwegians to forego fighting with a threatening band of Irish settlers, arguing that "these...
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