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In the past fifty years, according to Christine So, the narratives of many popular Asian American books have been dominated by economic questions-what money can buy, how money is lost, how money is circulated, and what labor or objects are worth. Focusing on books that have achieved mainstream popularity,Economic Citizensunveils the logic of economic exchange that determined Asian Americans transnational migrations and national belonging.
With penetrating insight, So examines literary works that have been successful in the U.S. marketplace but have been read previously by critics largely as narratives of alienation or assimilation, includingFifth Chinese Daughter, Flower Drum Song, Falling LeavesandTurning Japanese. In contrast to other studies that have focused on the marginalization of Asian Americans,Economic Citizensexamines how Asian Americans have entered into the public sphere.