November 5, 2018
Award winning authors Shirley Lim and Karen Yamashita held a series of lectures and discussion sessions in Shanghai and Beijing last month as part of USCET’s continuing Asian American Author Series.
The two authors highlighted American diversity and gave Chinese audiences a glimpse of America through the eyes of Asian Americans.
Both authors were hosted at a number of prominent universities and institutes including Renmin University, the Beijing American Center, Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU), Literary Shanghai, East China Normal University (ECNU), Duke Kunshan University, and the Shanghai American Center during their one-week, two-city tour.
The Asian American Author Series, which launched in November 2012 with award-winning Chinese American author Gish Jen, introduces Asian American authors and literature to Chinese audiences.
Lim, (Pictured, Right at Beijing Foreign Studies University) a Malaysian-American writer and professor at the University of California – Santa Barbara, immigrated to the United States in her early 20s. Much of her lectures and discussions focused on the trauma and determination she felt during her immigration process. She also discussed her award-winning novel, Among the White Moon Faces as well as diasporic writing coming out of Southeast Asia, particularly Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. She compared the popular film Crazy Rich Asians to modern Singaporean literature, critiquing the former for its shallow portrayal of common Asian stereotypes.
Yamashita, (Pictured, Right at Beijing American Center) a Japanese-American writer and professor at the University of California –Santa Cruz, shared her personal experiences and academic expertise. Yamashita gave presentations about the writers who have influenced her throughout her career, as well as the origins and role of the academic field of Asian American studies. In her talk, Roots and Routes, Karen also described the wrenching experiences of her family during WWII, which was sent to internment camps.
The two authors join Cheryl Tan, Helen Zia, Gish Jen, and Shawn Wong as past participants of the Asian American Author Series.