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  • by Amy Ling University of Wisconsin-Madison

The Autobiography of Malcolm X: As Told to Alex Haley

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This essay explores exercises in life writing for children by reading several Asian American autobiographies, to analyze their authors' purposes and factor them as part of a dynamic network of creative writing. Reading these autobiographies critically unveils the writers' strategies of meaning and their significance in the intersecting contexts of Asian American children's literature and genre studies. The texts offer diverse examples of the lives of young Asian or Asian American subjects whose experiences attest to the diversity of the classification "Asian American." The analysis covers a range of texts: some center on pre-immigration life, others on growing up as a minority person in America, others on war and internment, and some on urban life in the United States. This diversity proposes a range of experiences that allow the child reader, particularly the Asian American child, to learn about the possibilities of ethnic experience.

This essay explores exercises in life writing for children by reading several Asian American autobiographies, to analyze their authors' purposes and factor them as part of a dynamic network of creative writing. Reading these autobiographies critically unveils the writers' strategies of meaning and their significance in the intersecting contexts of Asian American children's literature and genre studies. The texts offer diverse examples of the lives of young Asian or Asian American subjects whose experiences attest to the diversity of the classification "Asian American." The analysis covers a range of texts: some center on pre-immigration life, others on growing up as a minority person in America, others on war and internment, and some on urban life in the United States. This diversity proposes a range of experiences that allow the child reader, particularly the Asian American child, to learn about the possibilities of ethnic experience.

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