This groundbreaking anthology presents us with 26 essays and fiction pieces that discuss, explicate, and exemplify the always complex, sometimes confusing, and often surprising intersections between the identities of "gay," "Asian," and "American." The essays cover topics ranging from sex to traditional family values to religion to AIDS and queer activism, and are written in a variety of styles, at turns highly personal or academic. Richard Fong's "Looking for My Penis" explores images of Asian men in gay porn; Patti Duncan's "History of a Disease" is an impressionistic, experimental autobiographical meditation on family history and being a Korean American lesbian. While the writers and their topics all concern aspects of Asian American and gay life, the ultimate portrait that emerges from Q & A
is one of a United States culture that bears little resemblance to the "America" portrayed in the media or even by contemporary history. What Eng and Hom have done is not simply give Asian American gay men and lesbians a venue for their voices but challenge how each of us imagines and conceptualizes his or her national identity, extending the anthology's importance beyond its relevance to gay or Asian studies. --Michael Bronski
From Library Journal
Gay Asian Americans face layers of discrimination in North American society, including homophobia, xenophobia, and racism (and, in the case of women, sexism), compounded by the fact that "Asian" is an ill-defined concept that subsumes distinctive and disparate cultures. Editors Eng (English and comparative literature, Columbia) and Hom have aimed for comprehensiveness in this handsome, large-format volume. But even by the standards of such anthologies, the selections here are exceptionally uneven. The strongest are those that convey the social, cultural, and artistic facets of the gay Asian American experience. Unfortunately, too many of the essays are marred by a tendency to cavil about victimization. Still, the subject is novel, and enough of the authors and artists here express themselves with graphic power and precision to recommend this book for both gay studies and Asian studies collections.ARichard Violette, Special Libraries Cataloging Inc., Victoria, BC
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.