Invisibility in African American and Asian American Literature: A Comparative Study
By: Klara Szmanko (author)Paperback
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The book presents a comparative study of the invisibility trope in African American and Asian American literature, distinguishing between various kinds of invisibility and offering the genealogy of the term, while also providing a theoretical dissection of the invisibility trope itself. Apart from investigating the very concept of invisibility and various ways of striving for visibility, the author develops such critical terms as 'performativity', 'mimicry', 'slippage', and identity politics, placing special emphasis on the need for transformational identity politics consisting in cooperation between various racial groups.While the book explores invisibility in a variety of African American and Asian American literary texts, the main focus is on four novels: Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man", Sam Greenlee's "The Spook Who Sat by the Door", Maxine Hong Kingston's "Tripmaster Monkey" and Chang-rae Lee's "Native Speaker". The book not only sheds light on the oppressed but also exposes the structures of oppression and the apparatus of power, which often renders itself invisible.
Throughout the study the author emphasizes that power is multi-directional, never flowing only in one direction. The book brings to light mechanisms of oppression within the dominant society as well as within and between marginalized racial groups.
Klara Szmanko has conducted many lectures and seminars in African American and Asian American literature. She is an assistant professor in Wroclaw, Poland.
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- ID: 9780786439522
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