Alpana Sharma Knippling
This book constitutes a critical introduction to the new immigrant literatures of the United States. By "new" is meant post-World War II, although all the chapters begin with, or refer to, the historical circumstances of the first generation's immigration to the United States, whether this occurred in the nineteenth century or the twentieth. It may, perhaps, be unnecessary to point out that two historical groups that do not fall within the definition of this book's title are the Native American and African-American ones. The former group lays claim to the origins of this country and is indigenous to it, while the latter group suffered a brutal and forced immigration that deserves a separate and fuller treatment. All other significant racial and ethnic groups and their literatures are represented in this book, although some exclusions were unavoidable, given the immense scope of the project and the plain lack of qualified contributors despite all efforts to locate them. Hence, while the book deplores the lack of treatment of Vietnamese-American and German-American literatures (among others), it is hoped that future scholarship in these areas will redress this lack.
In addition to constituting a critical introduction to post- World War II literatures, the book aims especially at representing hitherto marginalized literatures, specifically the Asian-, Caribbean-, and Mexican-American ones. Participating in this aim, many of the chapters also include discussion of new immigrant women's writing, perhaps the least known and most obviously "gendered" sub- genre in the field of immigrant literature. The individual chapters themselves achieve a fine balance between the needs of a reference chapter written for general readers and the needs of a critical and interpretive chapter written for scholars and researchers in fields as diverse as multicultural literature, diasporic