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Download Among the White Moon Faces: An Asian-American Memoir of Homelands (The Cross-Cultural Memoir Series) ePub

by Shirley Geok-lin Lim

Download Among the White Moon Faces: An Asian-American Memoir of Homelands (The Cross-Cultural Memoir Series) ePub
  • ISBN 1558611797
  • ISBN13 978-1558611795
  • Language English
  • Author Shirley Geok-lin Lim
  • Publisher The Feminist Press at CUNY (September 1, 1997)
  • Pages 248
  • Formats lrf lit txt lrf
  • Category Biography
  • Subcategory Historical
  • Size ePub 1737 kb
  • Size Fb2 1592 kb
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 846

Shirley Geok-lin Lim’s memoir is a courageously frank and deeply affecting account of a Malaysian girlhood and of the making of an Asian-American woman, writer, and teacher.With insight, candor, and grace, Lim reveals the material poverty and violence of her childhood in colonized and then war-torn Malaysia after her father’s business fails and her mother abandons the family, leaving Shirley to travel the road toward womanhood alone. Lim’s decision in 1968 to leave Malaysia and the man she loves for a Fulbright Scholarship at Brandeis University marks a crucial turning point in her life. Grappling to secure a place for herself in the United States, Lim is often caught between the stifling traditions of the old world and the harsh challenges of the new. But throughout her journey, she is sustained by her “warrior” spirit. Very gradually, and often painfully, she moves from a numbing alienation as a dislocated Asian woman to a new sense of identity as an Asian American woman: professor, wife, mother of a son she determines to raise as an American, and, above all, an impassioned writer.

Shirley Geok-lin Lim (born 1944) was born in Malacca Malaysia. Lim is a cross-genre writer, although she identifies herself as a poet. Among the White Moon Faces: An Asian American Memoir of Homelands" (1996) (Chinese translation, 2001).

Shirley Geok-lin Lim (born 1944) was born in Malacca Malaysia. She is an American writer of poetry, fiction, and criticism. Her first collection of poems, Crossing The Peninsula, published in 1980, won her the Commonwealth Poetry Prize, a first both for an Asian and for a woman. Fiction: "Joss and Gold" (Feminist Press and Times Books International, 2001).

It's interesting that the subtitle of this book on Goodreads is "An Asian-American Memoir of Homelands" but my copy says "Memoirs of a Nyonya Feminist"

It's interesting that the subtitle of this book on Goodreads is "An Asian-American Memoir of Homelands" but my copy says "Memoirs of a Nyonya Feminist". As it tends to swim in and out of various topics, it is difficult to recall a specific moment within the book that discusses a specific thing. To be fair, it is a memoir and a person's life is hardly easy to be categorised and summed up.

In this critically acclaimed memoir, Lim lays bare the turns in her early life in war-torn Malaysia, from wealth and security to poverty and family violence.

Shirley Geok-Lin Lim's memoir AMONG THE WHITE MOON FACES begins with her girlhood in 1940s Malaysia.

With insight, candor, and grace, Lim reveals the material poverty and violence of her childhood in colonized and then war-torn Malaysia after her father's business fails and her mother abandons the family, leaving Shirley to travel the road toward womanhood alone. Shirley Geok-Lin Lim's memoir AMONG THE WHITE MOON FACES begins with her girlhood in 1940s Malaysia.

In many ways, Among the White Moon Faces is the chronicle of just this sort of. .Cross-Cultural Memoir Series. City of Publication: New York, NY.

In many ways, Among the White Moon Faces is the chronicle of just this sort of confusion: linguistic, cultural, and sexual. These cross-cultural ironies echo throughout Lim's thoughtful, politically astute memoir, which covers ground ranging from the neglect and hunger of her Malaysian childhood, to her Anglophile education, to the loneliness of her first years in America. As a Chinese Malaysian, she faced discrimination not only from the colonial British, but later, after independence, from ethnic Malays as well. Publisher

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Years later than in a crib

Among the White Moon Faces An Asian-American Memoir of Homelands By Shirley Geok-lin Lim. Chapter One: Splendor and Squalor. Years later, I lie awake. Years later than in a crib. Floating among the white moon faces that beam and grasp. Years later, flecking the eyes, Faces like spheres wheeling, savoring myself. Another aunt is round; everything about her curves and presses out; her chest is a cushion, her stomach a ball, her face a full moon, and her smile grows larger and larger like a mouth that will eat you. I am afraid of them both. They wear black trousers and dull sateen samfoo tops, gray embossed with silver or light blue filigree.

Cultural Geographies 11: 42–60. Lloyd, J. and Johnson, L. (2004) ‘Dream stuff: the postwar home and the Australian house- wife, 1940–60’. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 22: 251–72. Lowenthal, D. (1989). Nostalgia tells it like it wasn’t’, in Shaw, C. and Case, M. (eds), The Imagined Past: History and Nostalgia. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 18–32. Lower East Side Tenement Museum (2004) A Tenement Story: the History of 97 Orchard Street and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. New York: Lower East Side Tenement Museum.

This is an entrancing memoir - Hisaye Yamamoto, author of Seventeen Syllables and Other Stories "Shirley Geok-lin Lim has written a work of rare.

This is an entrancing memoir. Ms. magazine " Among the White Moon Faces is an extraordinary memoir distinguished by a luminous intellect, painful honesty, lyricism, and humor-the work of a triumphant survivor.

Talk about Among the White Moon Faces: An Asian-American Memoir of Homelands (The Cross-Cultural Memoir Series)


Tojahn
This is a memoir full of dichotomies— a richly described childhood reflected upon in the face of a adult life as an immigrant in an American diorama of sorts.
Brol
I read Shirley Geok-lin LIm's memoir Among the White Moon Faces on my Android phone. Her reflective and poetic account of her growing up and sojourn to becoming a literary scholar in western and South Asian literature was a riveting story of a woman overcoming the hardship of her childhood and the gradual understanding her self and identity during her encounter with other cultures.
Yozshunris
I had the great fortune of being one of Professor Lim's students at UC Santa Barbara in winter 2005, when I took a course in Asian American Literature. I can say without hesitation that Professor Lim is a phenomenal teacher and excellent conversationalist, possessing a keen sense of literary analysis and a lively, understated sense of humor. I have nothing but the greatest respect for her knowledge and ability to communicate it with her students.

So it took me aback somewhat that her memoir was not an easy work for me to sink into. Among the White Moon Faces is certainly an important book, a daring account of Shirley Lim's long journey, from troubled childhood in the politically unstable climate of 1950's Malaysia to her pursuit of English literature and doctoral studies in America. There is much to see here that is new and interesting to a western readership, and much that is perhaps familiar to those who have read a good deal of immigrant literature. The book is not given to us like a story but rather like a detailed and discursive analysis of the author's memories. Time cycles back upon itself with each chapter, following the author through various stages of childhood as the focus of each chapter dictates. These memories are structured thematically, dissected and analyzed as if every event, however distant, however small, is a metaphor in an overarching epic.

Yet it's hard to say what, besides academic prestige, has been gained by the time the book ends. It's all rich stuff, treated with utmost seriousness and given so much weight that I wonder how anyone could go through life holding all these thoughts in her head without a moment of levity. Surely the Professor Lim I was acquainted with is somewhere in here? I believe her life is not as heavy as the memoir makes it, that there were plenty of laughs and smiles and day-to-day amusements, but they are not the focus of this streamlined memoir, and without the contrast of levity, the book feels almost stifled in its heavy, clinical approach to a woman's life that is, after all, ongoing. Even joyous topics such as marriage and motherhood are disseminated and analyzed for hidden meaning, stripping these events of the joy they must have held for the author. The thing that comes across strongest is Shirley Lim's constant quest for identity.

The book ends with this: "In California, I am beginning to write stories about America, as well as about Malaysia. Listening, and telling my own stories, I am moving home" (232). I have a feeling this is supposed to comfort me in some way. Does the author mean to tell us that, after 200 pages and several decades of an undeniably successful life, she still hasn't "found" home, even though home is clearly within herself? Everyone's story is different and perhaps many Asian immigrants do feel like this. The idea of such a long and tiring quest perplexes me.

I am an immigrant myself, a second-generation Polish American (technically first on account of my foreign birth, but too young to identify with that generation). I too never felt entirely American. Being "white" doesn't immediately buy you passage. Either your culture gets ignored because you're the invisible race, a white among American whites, or people latch onto your name and ask you where you--specifically you, not your parents--are "from," and tell you they adore your "accent" that isn't even there. I wear my exotic name happily but I no longer feel Polish. I have ties to both cultures, but no cradle. Does it matter? Between one interest and another, I didn't have the time to dwell on displacement. But immigrant literature is a veritable force in universities. Perhaps to many people, the destination matters more than the journey.

A strikingly different passage comes on page 154. Searching for identity out of what I can only assume is a sense of desperation, the author detours into science fiction, a genre of literature I love and had never known she was interested in. She consumes these books rather than savoring them. What does she find? "Aliens, alien planets, alien systems, alien languages, alien relations, and the dangers, risks, threats, disasters at work in alienness."

I understand the genre wasn't exactly diverse in this decade; if you're going to be reading classic SF, you're not going to get much in the way of "good" aliens. The books will be written mostly by men for men, and your default heroes will be white human males confronted with the threat of Otherness. So yes, they are slanted, but they're not all the same either.

Shirley Lim does not seem to have thought much about the true focus of SF books, the overarching themes that make brethren out of all the human races, uniting us into one world against a knowledge bigger than we can imagine. The same seems to me true of her constant focus on race and difference, undeniably important themes in literature that can sometimes overwhelm, erect barriers within ourselves instead of giving us the simple permission to "move" home.
Cesar
This book is a distinct contribution to the genre of cross-cultural literature which deal with themes of identity and displacement. Although many American reviewers describe her as an Asian-American writer, this description fails to capture the unique perspective she brings from her origins from one of the smaller Asian countries (Malaysia) which has contributed relatively fewer immigrants to the United States than have other sources of Asian-America writers - Korea, Japan, Vietnam, or China. Sharing some of the author's background in having also grown up in Malaysia and studied in the United States as a student, I was personally attracted to this book. In this autobiography, Shirley Lim explores identity and adaptation in multiple settings, from growing up in a Chinese community in multi-racial Malaysia before and after independence from British colonial rule, through her student experiences in the United States which finally becomes the adopted home where is teaches college students and is a writer. Her style is witty, direct, and intensely personal, and powerfully conveys the sense of otherness and acute observation which comes with being caught in cultural cross-currents. I recommend this highly.
FailCrew
Shirley Lim's book, Among the White Moon Faces, takes the reader through her life, starting from when she was a young girl in Malaysia, through all of her schooling, and through her move to the United States. Throughout the book she describes her thoughts and her feelings on her various hardships, and really tries to communicate with the reader.
Personally, I felt very ambivalent about the book. I didn't particularly like, nor dislike it. The writing is advanced, and complex, so it's really not for younger readers. If you've read a lot of other works by Asian American writers, you'll notice a lot of similar themes. I didn't feel as if Shirley Lim said anything new, or different with this book. Also, I felt like the second half of the book went very slowly. However, if you enjoy a lot of descriptive writing, or autobiographies, you'll like this book.