This article investigates how Taiwanese American writers represent Taiwan history in literary works with a focus on a female perspective as a way of reconstructing identities and repositioning Taiwan on a global scale. With the case studies of the first-generation Taiwanese American writer Joyce Huang's Yangmei Trilogy (2001-2005) and the multiethnic second-generation writer Shawna Yang Ryan's Green Island (2016), this article employs Shu-mei Shih's “relational comparison” as a theoretical approach to analyze generational differences and transformative identities in these novels and argues that these authors' writings on Taiwan history in the United States embody the transnational connection between the homeland and the host state. More importantly, by adopting similar historical materials and distinct narrative strategies, these novels demonstrate the involved multifaceted political meanings and cultural interventions by situating Taiwan in the related national, transnational and world histories and in doing so connect and compare Taiwan with other parts of the world.
Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives
Historical representation | Identity | Joyce Huang | Shawna Yang Ryan | Taiwanese American literature
Repositioning Taiwan: Historical representation and transformative identity in Taiwanese American literature