British Journal of Canadian Studies

Asian Canadian communal literary enterprise

British Journal of Canadian Studies (2018), 31, (1), 81–103.

Abstract

This article discusses how contemporary Asian Canadian literature was established at the end of the 1970s and developed with internal support from the members of the Japanese Canadian and Chinese Canadian communities in particular. I argue that the Asian Canadian literary enterprise was created and supported by communal efforts, and especially by the publication of magazines and anthologies. Communal grassroots magazines were efficient in mobilising Asian Canadian activism in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. They also provided space for writers to explore various methods and aspects of self-expression and thus shaped a distinctive Asian Canadian consciousness. At the same time, they faced practical challenges which can be directly related to the political and cultural climate of late twentieth-century Canada. Anthologies not only announced the birth of contemporary Asian Canadian literature but also recorded and celebrated its various stages of development.

Dans cet article, il sera question de la manière dont la littérature canadienne d’origine asiatique fut établie à la fin des années 1970 et comment elle s’est développée avec le soutien des membres des communautés canadiennes d’origine japonaises et chinoises en particulier. Nous soutenons que la société de littérature canadienne d’origine asiatique fut créée et soutenue par des efforts collectifs et surtout par la publication de magazines et d’anthologies. Les magazines communautaires ont su mobiliser efficacement l’activisme des canadiens d’origine asiatique de la fin des années 1970 et des années 1980. Ils ont également fourni aux auteurs un espace pour explorer diverses méthodes et aspects d’auto-expression et ainsi ont contribué à la formation d’une conscience canadienne d’origine asiatique distincte. En même temps, ils ont dû faire face à des enjeux pratiques qui peuvent être directement liés au climat politique et culturel du Canada de la fin du vingtième siècle. Les anthologies ont non seulement annoncé la naissance de la littérature canadienne d’origine asiatique contemporaine mais ont aussi consigné et salué les différentes étapes de son développement.

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Author details

Liu, Zhen