The Summer 2013 issue of Hyphen Magazine (#27 – The Sex Issue) has an interview with Amy Sueyoshi on her book, Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi.
Stephen Hong Sohn’s Asian American Literature Fans Megapost blog review for May 31 included one for Relative Histories: Mediating History in Asian American Family Memoirs by Rocío Davis. (Look for the third title from the top.)
There’s still time to donate to an IndieGoGo project to raise money for a CD of 26 original and unique songs inspired by the poetry of the late Wayne Kaumualii Westlake. UH Press published the posthumous 2009 collection, Westlake: Poems by Wayne Kaumualii Westlake (1947-1984).
Robert J. Cabin, author of Restoring Paradise: Rethinking and Rebuilding Nature in Hawai‘i, wrote a related article in Earth Island Journal on successful ecological restoration projects. He also addressed questions on restoration ecology in an article earlier this year in American Scientist, titled “Nature Is Dead. Long Live Nature!” (Full article requires subscription or institutional access.)
On Saturday, January 19, 2:00 p.m., SFSU associate dean Amy Sueyoshi will appear at the Japanese American National Museum for a reading, discussion, and signing of her book, Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi. In advance of her talk, JANM’s Discover Nikkei online network has published an in-depth interview by Andrew Way Leong (Northwestern University), posted in two parts.
Click here to read part 1, then link to part 2 from there (or simply click here).
Dr. Sueyoshi will also give a talk at the San Francisco Public Library on Tuesday, February 26. For more details, see the SFPL calendar.
A review of Queer Compulsions published in this month’s The Gay & Lesbian Review, which calls the book “…an important study. It is also worthwhile as a fascinating portrait of biracial and same-sex relationships at a pivotal time in American history.” An equally positive review appeared earlier in Nichi Bei Weekly.
While confessing his love to fellow writer Charles Warren Stoddard, Yone Noguchi (1875–1947) had a child (future sculptor Isamu Noguchi) with his editor, Léonie Gilmour; became engaged to Washington Post reporter Ethel Armes; and upon his return to Japan married Matsu Takeda—all within a span of seven years. According to Amy Sueyoshi’s Queer Compulsions: Race, Nation, and Sexuality in the Affairs of Yone Noguchi, Noguchi was not a dedicated polyamorist: He deliberately deceived the three women, to whom he either pretended or promised marriage while already married. Sueyoshi argues further that Noguchi’s intimacies point to little-known realities of race and sexuality in turn-of-the-century America and illuminate how Asian immigrants negotiated America’s literary and arts community. As Noguchi maneuvered through cultural and linguistic differences, his affairs additionally assert how Japanese in America could forge romantic fulfillment during a period historians describe as one of extreme sexual deprivation and discrimination for Asians, particularly in California.
“There is no question that Amy Sueyoshi is a very gifted historian who has mined every available source on Yone Noguchi. Her work is as exhaustive and deep in its interrogation of the extant literature as one could possibly hope for. Moreover, it has placed the life history of Yone Noguchi in a broad sweep of various fields of academic inquiry that gives his particular experiences relevance well beyond the field of Asian American history. The story of this rather unknown and unremarkable poet is rife with intellectual and academic meaning well beyond the significance of a late nineteenth-century historical biography.” —Tomas Almaguer, San Francisco State University
February 2012 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3497-5 / $40.00 (CLOTH)
Falling into the Lesbi World: Desire and Difference in Indonesia, by Evelyn Blackwood, offers a compelling view of sexual and gender difference through the everyday lives of tombois and their girlfriends (“femmes”) in the city of Padang, West Sumatra. While likening themselves to heterosexual couples, tombois and femmes contest and blur dominant constructions of gender and heterosexuality. Tombois are masculine females who identify as men and desire women; their girlfriends view themselves as normal women who desire men. Through rich, in-depth, and provocative stories, author Evelyn Blackwood shows how these same-sex Indonesian couples negotiate transgressive identities and desires and how their experiences speak to the struggles and desires of sexual and gender minorities everywhere.
“Falling into the Lesbi World sheds valuable light on the ways in which locally distinctive sensibilities articulate with regional, national, and transnational discourses bearing on the making of gender and sexual identities among Indonesia’s Minangkabau. This is a very sophisticated, nuanced, and theoretically provocative piece of work that is simultaneously lucid and compelling; it will be of great interest to Southeast Asianists and others committed to understanding gender diversity and sexual subjectivities in postcolonial contexts and beyond.” —Michael G. Peletz, Emory University
September 2010 / ISBN 978-0-8248-3487-6 / $24.00 (PAPER)