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Feeding the memory with culinary resistance: the Woman Warrior: memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts, The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife (1)/ Mutfaga Direnerek Bellegi Doyurmak: The Woman Warrior, memoirs of a girlhood among ghosts, The Joy Luck Club ve The Kitchen God's Wife.

Bu makale, Cinli Amerikali yazar Chuang Hua'nin Crossing adli romanindaki, "yazarlarin yaratici ortamlarinin ozu mutfaktan gecer" onermesinden beslenmektedir (Chang 149). Kingston ve Tan'in kitaplarinda mutfak terimlerinin yogunlugu, yiyecekleri hem maddesel hem de sembolik ve yaratici anlamlariyla kullanmalarindan kaynaklanmaktadir. Makalem, bu celisik duygular tasiyan halkbilimsel (ethnographic) belirleyici olan mutfak imgelerinin, kiz evlatlarin belleklerini karsi koyusla dolduran ve hic de davetkar olmayan, estetik bir ozgurluge acilan bir alan oldugunu iddia etmektedir. Kingston ve Tan eserlerinde, besleyici olma ve yemek soylemlerini iktidari devirme ve guc kazanma konulari ile baglamaktadir. Toplumsal cinsiyet baskilarina karsi direnme ve kendini onaylama anlaminda kullandiklari yemek metaforlari The Woman Warrior ile The Joy Luck Club ve The Kitchen God's Wife adli eserleri daha derin olabilecek herhangi baska bir motiften cok daha fazla yakinlastirmaktadir.

Although The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts (1975) by Maxine Hong Kingston as well as The Joy Luck Club (1989) and The Kitchen God's Wife (1991) by Amy Tan are, in one sense, postmodernist novels emphasizing "all that is peripheral to the American mainstream", generically, these works are at variance more than identical (Zeng 2). As a matter of fact, Kingston's narrative has more affinities with outlaw autobiographies given its disruption of traditional genres besides the oscillation between fiction and non-fiction. To a certain extent, The Woman Warrior puts forward the word autobiography and functions as a controversial personal history centred on reflections about Kingston's life as she attempts to understand and interpret the cultural codes that shape her life (Huntley, Maxine 77).

In the meantime, other passages in The Woman Warrior make of it more a mosaic of memoir, history and fiction (rather than a life-writing book per se) which are used as media to tell and retell stories that change with each telling and take on layers of signification with each new version (Huntley, Maxine 77). Nonetheless, Tan's books are conspicuously popular bestsellers, that is to say, more or less disengaged with technical craft and language experimentation, especially that their writing style oscillates between using broken English and relatively simple English. Thus, The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife make a generic compromise with Kingston's The Woman Warrior.

Despite the fact that both of Tan's books are less sophisticated than Kingston's, there is reason to argue that it is always possible to investigate them in comparison with each other. Noticeable, in this respect, is their joint exploration of mother/daughter dyads and issues of cultural identification and non-identification. (2) What could make the comparative discussion of their novels even more compelling for the purpose of this essay are their respective incorporation of culture-specific tropes among them ghosts, talk-story and food which constitutes the core debate of the current paper. (3)

As one of the manifestations of the so-called food studies, culinary symbolism amounts for a sub-yoke that could participate in decreasing the allegedly generic disconnection that emerges out of Kingston's and Tan's writings. Contesting the above separatist genre argument, this article parallels Kingston's and Tan's texts on the common ground of the culinary density that emanates from their amalgamation of symbols, motifs and icons reminiscent of feeding. It is helpful noting that feeding here is used in its material/physical sense that applies, mostly, to grotesque dishes as well as for its imaginary/intellectual connotation of storytelling. Thus, as a preliminary objective, this comparative essay, metaphorically, feeds on Chinese American writer Chuang Hua's assumption in her novel, Crossings that "[w]riters belong in the kitchen" and that "[c]ooking is an essential part of their imaginative environment" (qtd. in Chang 149).

To this end, contemporary Chinese American fiction is assumed to use all that surrounds the preparing, presenting and consuming of food to greatest effect that makes this literary corps hold together. Amy Ling's essay, "Emerging Canons of Asian American Literature and Art," compares the reading experience to the experience of eating at a restaurant with a menu which includes foods from many ethnic origins:
   Coming to the dining room, we prefer to find or make ourselves a
   seat at the table rather than overturn the entire table and not
   allow anyone to eat. Not only do we take a seat, however, we also
   want to change the menu and to introduce new foods to the table;
   instead of an unrelieved diet of boiled meat and potatoes, we bring
   with us stir-fried vegetables, enchiladas, sushi, and a host of
   other new and exciting tastes and methods of preparation. (qtd. in
   Chang 157)


King-Kok Cheung makes a similar statement, pointing out in "Food for All Her Living," that "[b]eing part of the melting pot does not mean losing one's own flavour; rather it is the addition of one's own distinct spice, be that soy sauce, miso, or tabasco. Then will we have food fit for the living" (qtd. in Chang 157). Compelling, in that sense, becomes the implied reference to the salad-bowl metaphor of US multiculturalism.

With a few exceptions, food and feeding in Chinese American novels still stand as an overlooked, often misunderstood subject. A glance at some sources, ranging from reviews to critical articles, proves to what extent alimentary symbols in this segment of Asian American fiction and non-fiction are encoded, and unrightfully so, as a form of stereotyping. Suffice it to mention the literary reviewers who evaluate and respond to the so-called Chinese American culinary literature "as though they are savouring dishes" or evaluating cookery books (Chang 155). Joan Chang quotes a statement in the Atlanta Journal and Constitution about The Kitchen God's Wife as "a tour through the senses, making smells, sounds, sights, tastes and textures of the pre-communist China" (106). In a parallel reference to The Joy Luck Club, Leslie Bow criticizes writers and critics "particularly interested in investigating works that lend themselves to questionable cliches about East and West" and takes the example of a reviewer who found Tan's book "'snappy as a fortune cookie and much more nutritious,'" a statement which is no less surprising than shelving The Woman Warrior as a cookery book (160). (4)

There is more than one drawback to such over-simplified comments. In fact, they participate in conditioning The Woman Warrior, The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife altogether as Chinese American literary texts which take us into Chinatown guided tours inclusive of Chinese dishes requiring bizarre ingredients, somehow cannibalistic and cruelly derived (Wong, "Autobiography" 146). (5) It follows that readers, most often eager for exotic ethnic markers, praise such books for their unfamiliar, at times unpleasant, alimentary presentations as much as they consider the culinary flavour as the fountain of any marketable popularity that these particular texts could entertain.

Moving from mainstream readers to Asian American literary criticism, one realizes the degree to which misconceptions about the integration of the culinary in these books are still disseminated, despite the fact that some experts in the field have moved beyond essentialist discussions of food. (6) Kingston and Tan are, indeed, often held responsible for perpetuating "wrong" attitudes about Chinese food, hence, the accusatory term "food pornography [...] first coined by Frank Chin to denote the commercialization of the exotic and bizarre aspects of one's ethnic food choices and eating styles" (Chang 155). According to Wong's book chapter "Big Eaters, Treat Lovers, 'Food Prostitutes,' Food Pornographers,' and Doughnut Makers" in From Necessity to Extravagance, Chin perceptively analyzes the practice of food pornography in his play The Year of the Dragon (1981) (58).

To abridge this leitmotif into such a rigid perspective is to lose sight of the intrinsic political implications which I have tried to envelope in this article title, "Feeding the Memory with Culinary Resistance." Certainly, there are other ways to grasp food metaphors; readings out of the authentic/fake binary oppositions but no less devoid of the centre/margin controversies. It is such a reading that this paper offers by embracing food as an ethnographic marker to grapple with an area, on the whole, misinterpreted, an area wherein the culinary feeds the memory with resistance, veering towards an aesthetic of liberation. I argue that Kingston's and Tan's texts associate the culinary discourse with issues of subversion and empowerment, thus, overemphasizing food for reasons that transcend catering to readers who crave for exotic cliches.

With respect to this postulation of an aesthetic of liberation, a major part of the paper holds that Kingston's text provides a perspective wherein nurturing and storytelling as well as the culinary and the memory intrinsically crisscross. The affinities established between these two realms not only inculcate a resistant, feminist surge but also make us think of an important statement made by James W. Brown in his emphasis that eating and speaking "are fundamentally communicative acts" (qtd. in Chang 150). The rest of the essay will be dedicated to an exploration of the affiliative uses Tan makes of the culinary to bond and re-bond mothers and daughters. At a later stage of the article, I will argue that challenging Chinese American stereotypes of femininity is part and parcel of the pragmatic function of the alimentary imagery in The Kitchen God's Wife.

As a sensitive and revealing story of a Chinese American woman's coming of age in America, Kingston's The Woman Warrior moulds short prose narratives that recount the reciprocal strictures between a mother and a daughter, who is not named but who is, in very significant ways, the author herself. As a generically- problematic novel "treated to an early canonization," The Woman Warrior equally reclaims voices of immigrant women's generations whose silence has kept their stories from being told and from being worthily included in histories (Ferraro 154). Throughout this controversial autobiographical novel, odours of Chinese meals, delicacies as well as aromas of frying, sauteing and baking are countless.

The book's opening section motivates this essay to emphasize the use of the culinary as a defiant honouring of women's memories and relationships. Starving the adulterous aunt's spirit in the material and symbolical senses of the word turns into a means of ostracism, reinforced with Maxine's inference: "Always hungry, always needing, she would have to beg food from other ghosts, snatch and steal it from those whose living descendents give them gifts" (TWW 16). Her "not being talked about means that she is not being fed; she is not supported as an ancestor" (Ludwig 73). Right here, starving becomes analogous to silencing, hence Paul Outka's reference to the "No Food Woman" in parallel with Maxine's reference to her aunt as No Name Woman (4).

Daringly, Maxine commits an act of defiance equally unforgivable as her aunt's adultery whereby she uses her writing as narrative nourishment in order to make up for the community's condemnation of the nameless female pariah. She is intent on feeding the hungry spirit of the nameless aunt, supplying it "with a story and thus an identity" (Ludwig 73). In this counteractive ritual of ancestor worship, writing replaces feeding and becomes allegorical for speech in keeping with Maxine's confession that "after fifty years of neglect, I alone devote pages of paper to her" (TWW 16).

Worthy mentioning also is the point that the notion of writing serves as an emblem of reverence to the author's bicultural ancestors, especially that her writings evoke the influence of American as well as Chinese literary traditions. In re- writing and re-drafting food imagery through narrative sustenance, Kingston indirectly expresses Orville Schell's notion of a "sustaining fund of memory" (qtd. in Huntley, Amy 72). In consequence, the nameless aunt evolves from a victim to a victor, shockingly occupying the centre stage of the first chapter in Kingston's memoir.

Ironically, the very publication of such a Hesterian tale ranks the narrator as "an outlaw knot-maker" and, in turn, best depicts imaginary feeding as a reversal of the banishment of the outcast aunt from alternative honouring rituals (TWW 163). There is more than one feature to this symbolic act of culinary resistance. In speaking of the adulterous aunt as a nameless woman, the narrator assigns her an identity and a voice (Lim 261). The gesture even makes a pun on feeding in the sense of resuscitating an ostracized spirit and filtering it into the symbolical realm of language. In this section of The Woman Warrior, feeding and remembering are prevalent to the extent that the biographical impulse becomes a means of self-liberation from marginalizing systems.

In a similar way to Kingston's The Woman Warrior, Tan's The Joy Luck Club twists nourishing and serving food until they become equal to or based on relating, another synonym of remembering. However, in contrast to Kingston's text, The Joy Luck Club consists of vignettes that alternate back and forth between the lives of four Chinese women in pre-1949 China and the lives of their American-born daughters in California. The book begins with the mothers talking about their own childhoods and the relationships they have had with their own mothers. In parallel, it focuses on the daughters and their upbringing to draw on their current lives. In a circular narrative structure, Tan's text moves back to the mothers whose second set of stories, in contrast to Kingston's, finish this ployvocal mother/daughter narrative.

By extension, the correlation of concrete nourishment with questions of agency and self-affirmation is consolidated with regard to the Mah Jong Club itself, of which the mothers and daughters form essential members. Through this joint social occasion for dinner celebrations and psychological release, the mothers are actually the core and the daughters have difficulty entering the game, as Jing-mei's opening story exemplifies. The link between feeding and remembering grows out of the meetings, gathering women diseuses in feasts of interchangeable eating and story-telling (Minh-ha 119). As Suyuan narrates the events of the Joy Luck Club she founded in China, "[w]e feasted, we laughed, we played games, lost and won, we told the best stories. And each week, we could hope to be lucky" (TJLC 12). Similarly, the participants of the San Francisco Joy Luck Club meet to feast, cook symbolic dishes associated with good luck and recount tales that target any impending apocalyptic news.

With their creation of a social organization based on feeding and storytelling, the Chinese American mothers are no longer stereotypically victims or family outcasts. They depict themselves as rebels and artists. Significantly, the eating-telling monthly festivities empower the mothers with a sense "of continuity, strength, shared pain, and resistance in the collective counter-memories of unrelated women bonding and telling stories to each other and talking-back to those who would steal their stories and lives" (Ho, In Her Mother's 182-3). Thus, the creation of the San Francisco version of the club gives a prompt to the shared re-bonding of mothers and daughters as a counteraction to any phallic ruptures. It is embraced within a load of struggle seen in the mothers' culinary competitions, especially through Suyuan's plan to prepare black sesame- seed soup for the club members, since another major mother member had served red bean soup at a previous club dinner (TJLC 5). The choice of diverse foods to prepare forefronts not only the degree to which the mothers are desirous to point out their inherent distinctiveness but also the ways in which they could be hard-working and resourceful at mothering, in the sense of nourishing. Implied in this "culinary rivalry," among other meanings, is every club member's intention to demonstrate how her meals, recipes and feeding talents are special (Huntley, Amy 59).

Similarly striking in The Joy Luck Club is the paradigmatic interchange between feeding and feeling through the so-called shou ritual, described in relation to An-mei Hsu and Rose Hsu Jordan, mainly in the short stories entitled "Scar" and "Magpies." (7) As an example of food grotesquery pushed to the extremes, the narrative of An- mei's mother cutting her arm to feed Popo, the grandmother, on the death bed is overarching in this sense. (8) At its simplest, the cannibalistic soup is meant to enliven the grandmother's dying spirit and bring her back to life, a scene which makes the daughter rather than the mother the nurturer of her tenderness in a self-sacrificing, almost mystic gesture.

In this process, An-mei asserts a female tale of compassion, solidarity and female inscription that requires pain. It is a transformation of the culinary into a metaphor for the umbilical cord that runs from grandmother to mother and daughter in a sublime, healing, resuscitating way, symbolized by the blood connection. It is almost the state in which An-mei identifies with her mother as a mirror to herself, thus, forming a "very fragile kind of identity" that "unconsciously depends on someone or something outside ourselves, from which we are separated, for its support" (Minsky 141).

Besides trying to save the mother from inevitable death, the daughter evinces the transcendental ability of the pre-Oedipal love to overcome all sorts of anger, including the patriarch's ostracism of Rose's grandmother as a belligerent promiscuous wife. Of the pre-mother/daughter connection, Helene Cixous holds:
   In women there is always, more or less, something of the "mother"
   repairing and feeling, resisting separation, a force that does not
   let itself be cut off but that runs codes ragged. The relationship
   to childhood (the child she was, she is, she acts and makes and
   starts anew, and unites at the place where, as a sense, she even
   others herself), is no more cut off than is the relationship to the
   "mother," as it consists of delights and violences. (qtd. in E.
   Anne Kaplan 38)(9)


The passage takes An-mei into a phase of total merging with her mother, into a realm that corresponds to the imaginary, symbiotic stage whereby the union of mother and child, pre-oedipally, sounds so perfect that it lapses into a state of utopia, characterized by volatility and endlessness.

This way the soup An-mei's mother made for the agonizing grandmother replays a tradition that counteracts the law of the father encircling the former's ostracism as an outcast. We should bear in mind that such a culinary scene enfolds a turning point in An-mei's relation to her mother, since it enables the daughter not only to share her mother's pain in a sublime experience but also to acknowledge that woman as her mother. Nothing but this telepathy enables An-mei to identify with her biological mother, despite early separation: "I knew she was my mother, because I could feel her pain" (TJLC 242). Eventually, the soup made of the blood and arm flesh of An- mei's mother begets An-mei's most significant decision to give up all the privileges of respect amid an extended family in favour of an alliance with a widowed mother whose social status as a concubine fits nowhere (TJLC 245).

The whole process yokes mother and daughter in a utopian coalition, in turn, giving birth to a metaphorical form of resisting the symbolical realm of female coercion. At its deepest, the sacrifice ritual teaches An-mei the true meaning of motherly respect:
   This is how a daughter honors her mother. It is shou so deep it is
   in your bones. The pain of the flesh is nothing. The pain you must
   forget. Because that is the only way to remember what is in your
   bones. You must peel off your skin, and that of your mother, and
   her mother before her. Until there is nothing. No scar, no skin, no
   flesh [Sic]. (TJLC 41)


The cannibalistic food continues to inspire An-mei, after her mother's death, into liberating her sadness and anger. When An-mei voices out the loss of her mother- ally: "I can see the truth, too. I am strong, too [...] And on that day, I learnt to shout," she proves to have learnt not to surrender to the oppressive order of the father (TJLC 271, 272).

Embedded with a culinary title, Tan's The Kitchen God's Wife stands as an absorbing narrative of Winnie Louie's life which she offers as a gift to her daughter, Pearl. Blaming all the negative aspects of Confucianism, Winnie allows her daughter into her past life and achieves a sense of reconciliation with herself in a retrospective demonstration of her blossoming feminist consciousness. Winnie re-emerges with a sensibility wherein the figure of the absent mother is strikingly painful and irreplaceable. In her connection to her daughter, Winnie sounds endlessly after a quest for motherly nurture and care, occasioning the growth of a connection recently founded on compassion, sympathy and understanding and achieved mainly through food metaphors.

Nobody fails to notice the culinary beginning and closure of The Kitchen God's Wife. The latter instils feeding with a communicative load whereby the culinary is concomitant with the retrieval of women's relationships from oblivion. In fact, Tan's second text is replete with food feasts with various secrets in between. In a moment that goes far beyond inculcating an ornamental grotesque material, Winnie treats Pearl to a Chinese soup before divulging the hidden rape. She asks Pearl to finish a bowl of hot noodles that she has just prepared; plainly putting in her hopes that Pearl captures the love, the truce, the affection behind it, expecting that "she would remember how soothing my soup made her feel" (TKGW 101).

Through Winnie's invitation, "Eat some noodle soup first. See what I made? Same kind when you were a little girl, lots of pickled turnip, a little pork just for taste. On [sic] cold days, you were so happy to eat;" I tend to see a pre-oedipal mother's endeavour to transcend the constraints of an environment heavily loaded with biases likely to distort a mother/daughter union (TKGW 101). Beyond this, we can establish a reference to 'jouissance' as a description of sources of pleasure exceptionally feminine, "associated with the search for an alternative identity through the reunion with the mother, the originator of all desire" (Minsky 162). This specific invitation encompasses a mother seeking her daughter's alliance, the necessary psychological support, compassion and sympathy that Pearl is summoned to hold for a survivor of violation.

As suggested by Tan's title, the culinary motif plays out a saga about resisting phallic boundaries and setting up a paradigm of female liberation. Being centred on the affiliative impact of nourishment on the mother/daughter connection, The Kitchen God's Wife stresses the removal of the kitchen god from the altar in an arbitrary dethroning process and its substitution for a goddess who has no status at all, not even a named statuette (530). The seller tells us that the Goddess is one made by mistake; indeed, "they forgot to write down its name on the bottom of her chair" (TKGW 531). Winnie names her mistake-statuette Lady Sorrow-Free instead of attributing to her the more respected title Mrs. Kitchen God (104; TKGW 531).

Incorporated into Tan's text, the myth embodies the mother as a goddess- figure. Reconstructed, it marvels in deifying the betrayed wife and mother to the detriment of the kitchen God himself, thus, transcending the stereotype of Chinese mothers as victims or social outcasts. Not only do we go beyond a tale that deifies the male figure, but also we end up with a resuscitated myth about Winnie as a survivor of gender inequities in an unprecedented gesture cognizant of her success as "the mother of an accomplished daughter, and the grand-mother of two American children" (Huntley, Amy 85). As a result of this, staying enclosed within the superficial limitations of the exotic culinary flavour in the Chinese myth is likely to overlook Tan's feminist subversive message.

Tan's text debunks alimentary tokens to adjust them to a seditious impulse wherein feeding triggers a womanist tradition as the sphere of a woman who "Loves music. Loves dance. Loves the moon. Loves the spirit. Loves love and food and roundness. Loves struggle. Loves the folk. Loves herself. Regardless [sic]" (Walker 370). Observing mother and aunt arguing while lifting the leftovers from the wedding banquet, Pearl ponders "perhaps it is not arguing. They are remembering together, dreaming together" (TKGW 526). Further implicative of food as an arena of nourishing the memory with hope is Winnie's remembrance of her eloping mother in a moment enfolded by culinary imagery. The link between food and memory as a space for female lineage and connectivity is communicated to us by reference to the morning the mother abandons her daughter, who consequently refuses to eat her bowl of syen do jang (TKGW 115). Clear enough becomes the connection between the daughter's sense of security and the mother's role as a provider of meals and vice versa.

At its simplest, the association could be read as a pointer to the physical and spiritual nurturing presence of the mother. Syen do jang, Winnie clarifies, is the same salty soy-milk soup that Cleo, the grand-daughter, devours without spilling a drop (TKGW 115). Implanted in Winnie's reminiscence is the culinary thread hooking up Shanghai and San Francisco and, by far, the six-year-old grandmother in the 1920s China and the three-year-old granddaughter in the 1990s America (Huntley, Amy 96). Displaced as a token of a unifying matrilineal tie, the culinary defines the daughter's relation not only to the mother, but also to herself and the world as a whole.

As shown through the specific examples of The Woman Warrior, The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife, feeding in certain segments of Chinese American fiction and non-fiction is mature enough to transcend physical survival and issues of assimilation in order to maintain female narratives in pursuit of resistance and liberation. Becoming an opportunity to experiment with themes of agency and mother/daughter dyads, the culinary is metamorphosed into a prominent site of women's quest for affiliation. It seems a basic component to the enterprise of Chinese American womanhood, hence, calling upon readers of women of colour literature to look with more depth into the so-called culture-specific tropes informing their writings.

Further on, this article takes part in minimizing the boundaries between Kingston and Tan on the basis of food symbols as joint culture-specific motifs. The Woman Warrior, The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife also bring the culinary more into focus as a site of resistance and give us a strong sense of the coexistence between feeding, storytelling and struggling. The culinary is also a site of heterogeneity within the Chinese American community, with special respect to the daughters' dislike and unfamiliarity of the foods their mothers at times provide.

Literarily merged in the involved Chinese American texts, feeding and eating become a pointer to the risk of essentialism in narrating women's stories through the kitchen. When women writers such as Kingston and Tan resort to a named conventional activity and exploit the domestic sphere as a location of female agency, they twist it into an arena of telling female stories about unifying with other women, stories that used to be buried. In a counteraction to ostracism, both physical and imaginary feeding is used as a tool to answer back traumas of erasure and commemorate a matrilineal legacy. Even the passages where food equals grotesquery represent an act of resistance more than a form of exotica, a significant signal towards opposing strategies of oblivion and nourishing the inscription of a female tradition in a Chinese American sense.

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Zeng, Li. Diasporic Self, Cultural Other: Negotiating Ethnicity through Transformation in the Fiction of Tan and Kingston". Language and Literature XXVIII (2003): 1- 16.

1 The first part of the subtitle in this article, "Feeding the Memory," draws on Barbara Frey Waxman, "Feeding the Hunger of Memory and an Appetite for the Future: The Ethnic Storied Self and the American Authored Self in Ethnic Autobiography," in Cross- Addressing: Resistance Literature and Cultural Borders, ed. John C. Hawley (New York: State University of New York, 1996) 207-220.

2 See M. Marie Booth Foster, "Voice, Mind, Self: Mother-Daughter Relationships in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club and The Kitchen God's Wife," in Women of Color: Mother- Daughter Relationships in 20th Century Literature, ed. Elizabeth Brown-Guillory (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1996) 208-27; Jacqueline P. Franzen, "Breaking Boundaries: The Autobiographical Revolution in Jade Snow Wong's Fifth Chinese Daughter, Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior, Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club and Edna Wu's Clouds and Rain," Diss. (University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1996) and Wendy Ho, "Mother-and-Daughter Writing and the Politics of Location in Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior and Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club," Diss. (University of Wisconsin, 1993).

3 Some would reinforce the link between these texts by stressing their equal entertainment of similar receptions that range from incrimination to celebration. See Frank Chin, "Come All Ye Asian American Writers of the Real and the Fake," in The Big Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Chinese American and Japanese American Literature, ed. Chan et al, (New York: Meridian, 1991) 1-92.

4 The quote is part of a review by Rhonda Koeing, "Heirloom China," New York Magazine (20 March1989): 82.

5 From here on The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts is referred to as TWW in citations, The Joy Luck Club as TJLC and The Kitchen God's Wife as TKGW.

(6) Specific examples include and go beyond Kingston's and Tan's texts. I am particularly referring to Alicia Otano, "Food as a Metaphor for Cultural and Familial Affiliation," in Speaking the Past: Child Perspective in the Asian American Bildungsroman (Munster: Lit Verlag, 2004) 82-84. See also Marie-Therese Sulit, "The Philippine Diaspora, Hunger and Re-imagining Community: An Overview of Works by Filipina and Filipina American Writers" as well as Patrycia Kurjatto-Renard, "Metaphors of Hunger and Satiety in Patricia Chao's Monkey King and Lan Samantha Chang's Hunger," in Transnational, National, and Personal Voices: New Perspectives on Asian American and Asian Diasporic Women Writers (Munster: Lit Verlag, 2004) 119-150 & 215-230.

(7) Shou is an equivalent for filial piety, meaning the respect and obedience of one's parents and elders. The opposite would be bu Xiao to refer to not filial (Isham 453).

(8) Popo is the way a woman calls her mother-in-law or her maternal grandmother, especially in Southern China, with lao lao as an equivalent used in Northern China (Isham 453).

(9) See Helene Cixous and Catherine Clement, The Newly Born Woman, trans. by Betsy Wing of La Jeune nee (1975), introd. by Sandra Gilbert (Manchester: Manchester University of Press, 1986).
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Author:Arfaoui, Sihem
Publication:Interactions
Article Type:Critical essay
Geographic Code:7TURK
Date:Sep 22, 2006
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