East Asian writers are, in some ways, their cultures’ prominent voices. In Korea and Japan, especially, they have a clarity of thought and creative spirits that are imaginative, fascinating, and insightful. Women who represent women who are sidelined, who revealcultures and lives from an original point of view, and who possess the ability to teach about love and pain and quiet thought are essential to their respective cultures. Creating a list of the writers who embrace all the above wasn’t an easy task, so here are just some of those who deserved to make it. Han Kang Enjoying successful in the world of literature, Han Kang offers lessons of contemporary […]
In shining the spotlight on the evils of the harem, however, Anna Leonowens injected it with exoticism, and insulted and infantilised the women whose rights she was trying to stand up for. What she observed was the inspiration behind the hit movie The King and I, which was banned in Thailand as a result of its portrayal of King Mongkut. Even as colonialism was fading in Asia in the middle of the 20th century, stereotypes of Asian women didn’t go away, and Western readers were still lapping them up. In 1955 the Quiet American by Graham Greene, American Aiden Pyle and British Thomas Fowler compete for the affections of Saigon’s […]
For tens of centuries, since the West was first introduced to the East, Western literature has helped to create an exotic vision of Asian women, symbolising the mystery, danger, and allure of the unknown. Author Sheridan Prasso asserts that the literary image of the Asian woman is the most fetishised, misunderstood, and imagined in the mind of the West. Sexual overtones are clear in the dichotomy of Asian women in literature. In Burmese, Korean, Laotian, Khmer, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Indonesia, Filipino, Thai, Japanese, and Chinese, Asian women are either Geisha Girls- ornamental and subservient, or Dragon Ladies- dominant or seductive. Between the two portrayals lie the likes of the Mail-Order Bride, […]
The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui The author’s family fled Vietnam in the 1970s when they went to the U.S. as refugees. In this upsetting yet optimistic graphic novel, the author details her family history and shows just what an uneasy journey they head from one home to a new one. Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee Min Jin Lee’s name is recognisable from her huge novel from 2017, Pachinko. Her first novel, however, was released 10 years earlier. Free Food for Millionaires tells the story of a young Princeton grad Casey Han, who was the daughter of Korean immigrant parents, making her way through life […]
Each May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month so it’s just the right time of year to look at some of the very best novels from Asian-American or Asian authors. As it would have taken too much time and effort to create a list of all the fantastic books that we could have included, we had to whittle it down to just a few for you to add to your reading list.
In a male-dominated industry, the following six women broke new ground. Some worked hard to create exciting programmes, some spotlighted taboo subjects, and some were the first of their kind. We pay tribute to these six women for their strength and courage and for their work in changing the television landscape forever. It’s hard to imagine just what the television industry and today’s shows would be without them. Lucille Ball Lucile Ball was undoubtedly, and famously, a genius when it came to comedy. She was also, however, one of the industry’s most successful ever executives. By having her hit TV show, I Love Lucy, filmed on quality tape, as opposed […]
Allow me to present the following to you: Pride and Prejudice, Life After Life, To Kill a Mockingbird, Evil Under the Sun, Them, The Goldfinch, White Teeth, The Namesake, Kindred, Modern Lovers, The Handmaid’s Tale, Frankenstein, Wuthering Heights, Little Women, The Tale of Genji, The Age of Innocence. Do you know why they are so significant and particularly important?
We continue our literary search for some of the very best female characters in books and film. We have already seen powerful women such as Jo March in Little Women, and Elizabeth Bennett in the classic period tale of Pride and Prejudice. What united these two great characters was their determination to face society and all its rules, but stick to their guns and ignore what was acceptable and to conform to what others wanted. We start our concluding part of our blog with Lisbeth Salander, who is one of the most intriguing women’s characters of all time. Lisbeth Salander The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo features a character named […]
What can be more appealing than a leading female character in a good book or film? Some of history’s most intriguing literary characters, both fictional and real, have been female. From heroines to young teenage sleuths, female characters have captured our imagination ever since they first appeared in literature. The female is without doubt the most complex of the species, and therefore the most interesting to write and read about. And in this blog we explore some of the strongest female literary characters that have ever appeared in books. Elizabeth Bennett Jane Austen is one of the most prolific writers of her generation, and her skill at describing characters in […]
Turning the page, we continue on our literary journey to discover the best female contemporary East Asian writers that are shaking up the world literature. Already we have dipped our attention into the writings of Han Kang and Banana Yoshimoto. In this blog we focus on three more giants of East Asian writing: Hiromi Kawakami, Krys Lee and the very moving Chinese writer Yiyun Li. Hiromi Kawakami Japanese fiction and novels have come a long way from the old traditional plays that toured feudal Japan centuries ago. The prose like many modern texts is completely different in 2018 than what it was three decades ago, never mind about centuries. Hiromi […]