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Hagedorn, Jessica (Editor); Kadohata, Cynthia; Kingston, Maxine Hong; Tan, Amy; & Others. CHARLIE CHAN IS DEAD: AN ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY ASIAN AMERICAN FICTION. New York City, NY: Penguin Books, 1993. Softcover. First Edition/First Printing. 575 pages. Fine.

Landmark collection of literary pieces. One of the finest American literary anthologies of our time. The First Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a softcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Pictorial softcovers with titles on the cover and spine, as issued. Contributions by various authors, a Who's Who of modern Asian-American writing. Edited with an Introduction by Jessica Hagedorn. Essay by Elaine Kim. Without DJ, as issued. Presents some of the finest and most representative writings, many of which finally appear through this volume for the very first time, by members of an "ethnic" minority that is bound together (superficially) by geography rather than (profoundly) by a shared culture: Asian-Americans. Given the American penchant for categorizing and labelling, this is a problem even though it is really a glorious harvest: There is no such thing as Asian culture in the sense that there is such a thing as European or Latin-American culture. There are, innumerably so, Asian cultures and Asian identities. "The most successful of the works paint sharp portraits of individuals. Gish Jen's Catholic-school girl is eager to work miracles, especially after her mother falls from a bedroom window during a fight with her father. Cynthia Kadohata's domineering grandmother insists on telling inappropriate stories and affects the narrator so forcefully that the girl swears, 'Anything she does, I never will'. Marilyn Chin's 'Moon' is 'a little fat Chinese girl' who is humiliated by two boys who urinate on her, and subsequently by her parents, then wreaks supernatural revenge" (Publishers Weekly). As a hefty introductory volume, this anthology cannot be improved upon, only expanded and updated, which Hagedorn did with "Charlie Chan Is Dead 2: At Home In The World" (2004). An indispensable anthology on some of the most un-appreciated (and ghetto-ized) yet thrilling writers today, this is an absolute "must-have" title for contemporary literature collectors. This title remains available in multiple subsequent printings and is now collectible. This is one of very few copies of the First Edition (complete number line ending in 1) still available online and is in fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. A very scarce copy thus. Some of the most brilliant American writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER JESSICA HAGEDORN, MAXINE HONG KINGSTON, AND AMY TAN TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0140231110. $50.00

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