Maxine Kingston's 'Making of More Americans' and Amy Tan's 'Mother Tongue': A Controversial Addition in Literature
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Maxine Kingston's Making of More Americans like Amy Tan's Mother Tongue has been a controversial addition to Asian American literature. The writer has tried to answer the critical question of Chinese American identity and hence been criticized for adopting an orientalist framework to win approval of the west. Similarly Rendezvous by Frank Chin and Mother Tongue by Amy Tan also speak of a culture that neatly fits the description of the "Other" in the orientalist framework. It appears alien, remote and immensely degrading to women who were treated like non-human beings by Chinese chauvinistic society. However things changed for the generation of Chinese that grew up in the US or at least that is what authors wants us to believe.
Frank Chin has been the most vocal critic of Kingston's who accused her "of reinforcing white fantasies about Chinese Americans" (Chin, 1991) and claimed that writers like Maxine Hong Kingston, Amy Tan and David Henry Hwang who won approval of the American white readers deliberately distorted the image of Chinese American to reinforce stereotypes and cater to the fantasies of American readers about a traditionalist Chinese culture. (Frank Chin, 1991, pp. 3-29) In order to better understand the criticism against these Chinese writers, we must first understand what is meant by orientalist thinking or orientalism for that matter. One of the authorities on the subject, Edward Said explains the term "Orientalism" and tackles the question of East and