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UnfastenedGlobality and Asian North American Narratives$
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Eleanor Ty

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665075

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665075.001.0001

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Recuperating Wretched Lives: Asian Sex Workers and the Underside of Nation Building

Recuperating Wretched Lives: Asian Sex Workers and the Underside of Nation Building

Chapter:
(p.20) 2 Recuperating Wretched Lives: Asian Sex Workers and the Underside of Nation Building
Source:
Unfastened
Author(s):

Eleanor Ty

Publisher:
University of Minnesota Press
DOI:10.5749/minnesota/9780816665075.003.0002

This chapter presents a reading of This Place Called Absence by Asian Canadian Lydia Kwa and Fox Girl by Asian American Nora Okja Keller. These novels bear witness to the horrors of being a prostitute to foreigners either in one’s own or in another country. Both novels attempt to give voice to women whose stories have not been well documented in history in order to “make people remember what they do not know first-hand.” By depicting prostitutes in familial situations, by revealing the ways they negotiate their queer desires and aspirations, and the way they reconcile themselves to their physical and material states, Kwa and Keller highlight the absent voices in trans-Pacific and transnational history, the gaps in the understanding and knowledge of the postcolonial past and its neocolonial legacy.

Keywords:   This Place Called Absence, Lydia Kwa, Fox Girl, Nora Okja Keller, prostitutes, transnational history, postcolonial past, neocolonial legacy

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