Queer Compulsions, by Amy Sueyoshi

Decent Essays

Queer Compulsions by Amy Sueyoshi serves as a wonderful insight of various struggles of Japanese immigrants with Americans in its depiction of specific individual of Yone Noguchi through his intimate relationship with other Americans of both sexes. Through the life of Noguchi, the author aims to touch on both racial and sexual (both sexual identity and gender) standards which were expected at the time, and how those affected not only the life of Noguchi, but also the lives of many Japanese immigrants. Most part of the book, from Chapter 1 to 4, the author talks extensively about relationships (not only intimate/family relationships, but also other relationships with general American population, especially Bohemian) that Noguchi had from the beginning of his life. The author utilizes overwhelming amount of excerpts from private letters that were both sent by and sent to Noguchi, exploring the use of language extensively. Drawing most of quotes from private letters of Noguchi and exploring the usage of terms and affection behind the usage, the book reads like a fine storybook; however, such heavy quotes on letters and explanation of language have made reader, I, to be confused whether this is a book about a life of a person or a book about general depiction of Japanese immigrants of the time. Even though it was pleasant to read beautiful language, mostly due to sharp contrast to languages of other literatures that we read, it made both easy and challenging to see the

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