Reexamining the "Embarrassing Uncle" of Asian American Lit

Tara Fickle and Shawn Wong discuss the controversy around Aiiieeeee!



Embarassing uncle, huh? Well, given the fact that the anthology helped mold the development of the first generation of Asian American activists (as misogynistic, as homophobic as it was), as literature, as cultural values molder, as personal identity inspiration, I think the book deserves a bit more central space than that.

A whole lot of artists (from David Henry Hwang onward) took it as inspiration and as a touchstone for their own work. That they didn't slavishly imitate shouldn't take away from its import for multiple generations of Asian American artists.