• ISSN: 2382-6282 (Print); 2972-3108 (Online)
    • Abbreviated Title: Int. J. Lang. Lit. Linguist.
    • Frequency: Bimonthly
    • DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL
    • Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Jason Miin-Hwa Lim
    • Executive Editor:  Jennifer X. Zeng
    • Indexed by:   CNKI, Google Scholar, Crossref,
    • E-mail: ijlll@ejournal.net
IJLLL 2023 Vol.9(3): 224-228
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2023.9.3.409

Asian Expatriation, to Balance in Mobility: The Construction of Asian Americans’ Multiple Identities in Shawn Wong’s American Knees

Yuanjiang Wang
AbstractAmerican Knees is a novel that delves into the complex and diverse identities of Asian Americans in modern society, through the life of Raymond Ding, a Chinese American. Raymond is deeply invested in preserving the history of Asian Americans, and strives to connect with his community and immigrant past in order to shape his own identity. However, Aurora Crane and Brenda pursue their identities through integration into American society, believing that ethnicity is not necessary for self-understanding. The clash of these contrasting perspectives, and the contrast between the cultural interpretations of San Francisco and Hawaii, lead to a realization that Asian American identity is pluralist and constantly evolving. In the novel, there are the juxtaposition of a heavy historical tone and rigid family stereotypes in the first half, and a lighter, more open plot in the second half. This duality highlights the complex nature of identity formation, with the two techniques complementing and supporting each other. Through the interweaving of history, reality, self, and other, the novel portrays the many attempts at self-realization and multiple identities of Asian Americans, which do not necessarily conflict, but rather offer infinite possibilities for the shape of ethnic identity. American Knees is not just a lighthearted portrayal, but a nuanced attempt to decode the complexities of Asian American identities.

Index TermsAmerican Knees, Asian Americans, ethnic identity, multiple identities

Yuanjiang Wang is with School of English and International Studies, Beijing Foreign Studies University, Haidian District, Beijing, China. E-mail: wyj61116@163.com


Cite:Yuanjiang Wang, "Asian Expatriation, to Balance in Mobility: The Construction of Asian Americans’ Multiple Identities in Shawn Wong’s American Knees," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 9, no. 3, pp. 224-228, 2023.

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