Review of Banana Bending: Asian Australian and Asian Canadian Literatures, by Tseen-Ling Khoo.

The etymology of the term 'banana' - yellow on the outside, white on the inside - coupled with 'bending' - a transformation and a politicisation - suggests new strategies of reading and comprehending Asian literatures and identifications. In this timely work Khoo reads the multiple sites and deployments of the term 'multicultural' enshrined in the imagining of contemporary Canada and Australia. Khoo 's work has a wide range and interrogates notions of race, citizenship, embodiment and diaspora; the immigration policies of the two countries; and issues of gender and sexuality within the Asian literatures of the two countries. The work is neatly structured with individual chapters defining and describing the space of Asians in Australia and Canada within the debates over indigeneity and the rhetoric of right-wing groups gaining popularity in both countries. These chapters are followed by others that treat nationalism, community, masculinity and femininity in the Asian literatures of both countries. Khoo prefers an approach of reading the literary production of East Asians of these countries within the larger context of nationalist literatures as opposed to reading these literatures within the context of diaspora theory.

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Published 1 May 2005 in Volume 22 No. 1. Subjects: Asian Australians, Diaspora.

Cite as: Mohanram, Radhika. ‘Review of Banana Bending: Asian Australian and Asian Canadian Literatures, by Tseen-Ling Khoo..’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 22, no. 1, 2005, doi: 10.20314/als.2c71ba7b3a.