But Still, Like Air, I'll Rise
New Asian American Plays
Publication: May 97
6 x 9
A rich anthology of American plays by playwrights of diverse Asian ancestry and an equally diverse offering of aesthetic sensibilitiesRead an excerpt from "Talk Story" (pdf).
In this pathbreaking volume, Velina Hasu Houston gathers together eleven plays that speak in the "hybridized, unique American voices of Asian descentand often dissent." These writers resist the bigotry that attempts to target them solely as people of color as well as the homogenizing tendencies of a multiculturalism that fails to recognize the varied make-up of Asian-America. Anthologized for the first time, these plays testify to the rich complexity of Asian-American experience while they also demonstrate the different styles and thematic concerns of the individual playwrights.
What are Asian-American plays about? Family conflicts, sexuality, social upheaval, betrayal . . . the stuff of all drama. Whether the characters are a middle-aged Taiwanese woman who is married to an Irish American and who dreams of opening a Chinese restaurant, a Chinese-American female bond trader trying to survive a corporate takeover, or an ABC (American Born Chinese) gay man whose lover has AIDS, their Asian-ness is only a part of their story.
As a playwright, Houston is keenly aware of the rigid formulas that often exclude writers of color and women writers from mainstream theater. But Still, Like Air, I'll Rise brings forth vibrant new work that challenges producers and audiences to broaden their expectations, to attend to the unfamiliar voices that express the universal and particular vision of Asian-American playwrights.
"(G)reat eloquence, passion and patience..." The Women's Review of Books
Table of Contents
Foreword Roberta Uno
Introduction Velina Hasu Houston
1. Talk Story Jeannie Barroga
2. Day Standing on its Head Philip Kan Gotanda
3. Kokoro (True Heart) Velina Hasu Houston
4. Dance of the Wandering Souls Huynh Quang Nhoung
5. Bondage David Henry Hwang
6. The Conversion of Ka'ahumanu Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl
7. Cleveland Raining Sung Rno
8. Breaking Glass Dmae Roberts
9. Junk Bonds Lucy Wang
10. Kimchee and Chitlins Elizabeth Wong
11. A Language of Their Own Chay Yew
About the Contributors
About the Author(s)
In the Series
Asian American History and Culture edited by Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee
Founded by Sucheng Chan in 1991, the Asian American History and Culture series has sponsored innovative scholarship that has redefined, expanded, and advanced the field of Asian American studies while strengthening its links to related areas of scholarly inquiry and engaged critique. Like the field from which it emerged, the series remains rooted in the social sciences and humanities, encompassing multiple regions, formations, communities, and identities. Extending the vision of founding editor Sucheng Chan and emeriti editor Michael Omi, David Palumbo-Liu, K. Scott Wong and Linda Trinh Võ, series editors Cathy Schlund-Vials, Rick Bonus, and Shelley Sang-Hee Lee continue to develop a foundational collection that embodies a range of theoretical and methodological approaches to Asian American studies.