Dr. Mai-Linh K. Hong is a scholar of refugee storytelling, Asian American literature, and critical race and ethnic studies. A former attorney, she is an assistant professor of literature at the University of California, Merced.
ON ASIAN AMERICAN LITERATURE
Asian Americans have always fought for our historical truths. We fight to correct the record so the world may see us, and themselves, more clearly.
But we also fight for our rightful inheritance of lies and refusals. For our lapses of memory, our grainy uncaptioned photos, our diversions, our flights of madness. As Asian Americans, we live surrounded by incompleteness and untruth, and that’s not always a bad thing. Isn’t that where imagination picks up and we start to create a better world for ourselves and each other? That’s literary, too.
Literature is a muscle we’ve been strengthening all these years.
Mai-Linh K. Hong
Smithsonian Asian American
Literature Festival, 2019