Advertisement

The Vietnam War and the Cultural Politics of Loyalty in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Fifth Book of Peace

  • Walter S. H. Lim

Abstract

Whether born in the United States or naturalized citizens, Chinese American authors often find that their interest in both Chinese and American history is not restricted to past events but embraces current US-Asia relations. Often enough, mainstream attitudes toward Asian immigrant communities are influenced by the politics of international relations, which may mean that the Asian American subject’s sense of national belonging can never be taken for granted. When America goes to war, the implications of which are engaged with in detail in Kingston’s Fifth Book of Peace, the racial Other who would otherwise remain undisturbed under conditions of peace faces pressure to declare his or her patriotism to the nation, a declaration that gives uncompromising support for all wars fought against America’s enemies.

Keywords

Cultural Politics American Literature Asian Descent American Foreign Policy Buddhist Philosophy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Lisa Lowe, Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1996), 3.Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Andrew X. Pham, Catfish and Mandala: A Two-Wheeled Voyage through the Landscape and Memory of Vietnam (New York: Picador, 1999).Google Scholar
  3. 4.
    Janice Mirikitani, “Spoils of War,” in Asian American Literature: A Brief Introduction and Anthology, ed. Shawn Wong, 186–201 (New York: Harper-Collins, 1996).Google Scholar
  4. 5.
    Yunte Huang, Transpacific Imaginations: History, Literature, Counterpoetics (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2008), 73.Google Scholar
  5. 7.
    Maxine Hong Kingston, The Fifth Book of Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003). All subsequent references to the text are to this edition and will be cited as FBP.Google Scholar
  6. 8.
    Jodi Kim, Ends of Empire: Asian American Critique and the Cold War (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010), 8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 9.
    Lynda Boose, “Techno-Muscularity and the ‘Boy Eternal’: From the Quagmire to the Gulf,” in Cultures of United States Imperialism, ed. Amy Kaplan and Donald E. Pease, 581–616 (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1993), 590.Google Scholar
  8. 12.
    Elaine Scarry, The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1985), 64.Google Scholar
  9. 14.
    Jack Kerouac, The Dharma Bums (New York: Penguin, 1958).Google Scholar
  10. 15.
    Allen Ginsberg, White Shroud: Poems, 1980–1985 (New York: Harper and Row, 1986), 43.Google Scholar
  11. 16.
    Allen Ginsberg, Collected Poems, 1947–1980 (New York: Harper and Row, 1984), 403.Google Scholar
  12. 18.
    For a recent collection of essays that study the place of Buddhist interest, philosophy, and thought in American literature and culture, see John Whalen-Bridge and Gary Storhoff, ed., The Emergence of Buddhist American Literature (Albany: SUNY Press, 2009).Google Scholar
  13. 19.
    For a collection of essays discussing Buddhism’s activist engagement with social and political issues and crises in contemporary Asia, see Christopher S. Queen and Sallie B. King, ed., Engaged Buddhism: Buddhist Liberation Movements in Asia (Albany: SUNY Press, 1996).Google Scholar
  14. 20.
    Maxine Hong Kingston, Tripmaster Monkey (New York: Vintage, 1990). All subsequent references to the text are to this edition and will be cited as TM.Google Scholar
  15. 21.
    Maxine Hong Kingston, Veterans of War, Veterans of Peace (Kihei, HI: Koa Books, 2006), 1–2.Google Scholar
  16. 24.
    Nigel C. Hunt, Memory, War and Trauma (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 26.
    Samuel Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1996).Google Scholar
  18. 27.
    David Palumbo-Liu, “Civilization and Dissent,” in Asian Americans on War and Peace, ed. Russell C. Leong and Don T. Nakanishi, 151–63 (Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center Press, 2002).Google Scholar
  19. 28.
    Edward W. Said, Reflections on Exile and Other Essays (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2002), 571.Google Scholar
  20. 29.
    Maxine Hong Kingston, China Men (London: Picador, 1977), 257. All subsequent references to the text are to this edition and will be cited as CM.Google Scholar
  21. 30.
    John Okada, No-No Boy (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1979).Google Scholar
  22. 31.
    Toshio Mori, Yokohama, California (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1949), 21.Google Scholar
  23. 34.
    Amy Goodman, “Alice Walker, Maxine Hong Kingston, Medea Benjamin & 20 Other Women Arrested Outside the White House,” Democracy Now, March 10, 2003, accessed September 25, 2012, http://www.democracynow.org/2003/3/10/alice_walker_maxine_hong_kingston_medea.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Walter S. H. Lim 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Walter S. H. Lim

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations