East Asian American

Early East Asian American Literature

  • First publishing short stories about Chinese Americans in 1896, Sui Sin Far was one of the first Chinese Americans to write fiction in English.
  • Onoto Watanna (nee Winnifred Eaton) was the first Asian American novelist.
  • Yung Wing was the first Chinese student to graduate from an American University. He later became naturalized as an American citizen. His My Life in China and America, published in 1909, is among one of the first works of literature written by a Chinese American.
  • Lin Yutang (1895-1976) was a prolific Chinese American writer. He was severally nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature
  • Younghill Kang, best known for his fictional memoir East Goes West: The Making of an Oriental Yankee, is considered the “father of Korean American Literature”.

20th Century

  • Several anthologies in the the 1970’s, including Frank Chin‘s Aiiieeee!. An Anthology of Asian American Writers, essentially inaugurated the term “Asian American Literature” by publishing collected literary works of American-born Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, and South Pacific Island writers.
  • Other Asian American writers include: Maxinee Hong Kingston, Jhumpa Lahiri, Han Ong, le thi diem thuy, Adrian Tomine, Lois-Ann Yamanaka, Gish Jen, Toshio Mori, John Okada, Hisaye Yamamoto, Louis Chu, Amy Tan, Carlos Bulosan, Bienvenido Santos, Ha Jin, Janice Mirikitani (current poet Laureate of San Francisco), Karen Tei Yamashita, Garrett Hongo, Cathy Song.