ZINC : perspectives of identity in Asian-Australian literature

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ZINC: Perspectives of Asian-Australian Literature is made up of two parts. The first, called "ZINC: A Novel in Six Acts" is a collection of stories concerned with the cultural and political landscapes produced by migration and multiculturalism. The collection explores how contemporary processes of social, historical and political change dramatically impact on the identities of first and second-generational Australians of Hong Kong Chinese descent and records the ways certain characters lead their lives and how each character understands home as a place or a form of belonging in Hong Kong and Australia. What has resulted is a collection of stories that attempts to describe a series of interlinking journeys, or 'acts'. Each story takes the reader through both real and imagined terrains which are contemporary and historical; Imperial China, colonial Hong Kong, the city of Melbourne and suburban and metropolitan Sydney; simultaneously engaging with the cultural changes and social relations that are reconfigured by larger experiences and patterns in the characters' lives. The second part, an exegesis called "ZINC: Perspectives of Asian-Australian Literature', explores the impact of selected authors on the creative pieces and contextualises the literary landscape and subjectivities of the author within the framework of Asian Australian literature. This exegesis aims to identify thematic references within the chosen literary works and explore issues within the uniqueness albeit categorisation of what is termed' Asian-Australian writing.' Keeping this in mind, this exegesis will also examine if or how Asian-Australian writers represent their racial differences and whether or not these representations appear to 'imitate' a non-minority English-writing author. Importantly, this dissertation hopes to offer the reader a way of understanding and redefining the fluid multiplicities that are Asian-Australian identities living in Australia today and how they are envisioned and experienced, showing the diverse and distinct cultures that are scattered over as many places as there are people. This dissertation is about breaking, altering and rewriting dominant myths and narratives about Asian Australian sensibilities by calling attention to the continuities and discontinuities of people's lives.
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