Patricia P. Chu’s Assimilating Asians: Gendered Strategies of Authorship in Asian America (New Americanists) (2000) explores the increasingly important role of Asian authors in America and the ways in which they employ traditionally Western techniques to tell their stories. Chu also examines the ways in which female authors differ from male authors.
Typical American, Gish Jen’s 1991 novel, relates the story of three Chinese immigrants who make new lives for themselves in America. They soon find that their beliefs, values, and expectations change as they become immersed in their new culture.
Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood among Ghosts (1976) is considered a precursor to Tan’s fiction. It is an intense and bitter story of a Chinese-American girl growing up in California, caught between the world of Caucasian “ghosts” and her mother’s “talk-stories” about China.
Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club (1989) presents the lives of four Chinese women living in America who recall their troubled and dramatic lives in their native land. Because of their altogether different life experiences, the women’s daughters have difficulty relating to them. This novel was made into a successful movie in 1993 by Hollywood Pictures.
Ben Fong-Torres’ The Rice Room: Growing Up Chinese-American-From Number Two Son to Rock’N’Roll (1994) is the author’s account of growing up Chinese American. Although expected to adhere to his Chinese heritage, Fong-Torres wanted nothing more than to assimilate into American culture.
Anzia Yezierska’s novel Bread Givers: A Struggle between a Father of the Old World and a Daughter of the New World (1925) is the story of Sara Smolinksy, a young Jewish girl struggling to free herself of the traditional expectations of women in Orthodox Jewish society. When she sees her father, a rabbi, marry her sisters into unhappy marriages, she runs away to make a new life for herself.