okay then. my thesis. you really want to know?
it is in two parts, a 15000 word creative piece and a 15000 word critical piece.
The critical is looking at the state of writing by young Asian Australian women who were born or who grew up in Australia and asking why there seems to be a need to write migration/diaspora/Amy Tan-type narratives. i’m trying to work out why these women don’t write about what it’s like for their own generations, living in australia as Asian Australians, why they have to tell the stories of their grandmothers and travelling back to the ‘homeland’. and why, given all this migration over many years, is there not more writing about people with ‘mixed parentage’ (i still haven’t worked out a non-cringeworthy way of saying that), ie half Asian, half Australian (as opposed to Australian-born Asian). i look at three novels in particular, which have started to move away from this problematic kind of narrative, but which are still steeped in it nonetheless. and i come up with no answers of course.
The creative is not meant to be an answer to the critical, but is meant to sit alongside it as a companion piece (keeps it company on cold nights, etc). it is in two halves, the first about a half-Chinese half-Australian guy and his life in Sydney, how he is perceived by his peers, problems he has with his father, problems he has with being half-Chinese (feeling it isn’t an issue for him but other people make it an issue). The second half is about a half-Chinese half-Australian woman (best friends with the guy in the first half) and sets up an Amy Tan style story that is then thwarted (ha! take that!), and moves off into her dealing with her career, being sent to Singapore to write an article for her magazine because she is the resident Asian on staff, working out how she feels about that… or not.
it doesn’t sound very compelling when i put it down like this, but it’s all about ambivalence anyway so perhaps i can afford to be a little…ambivalent.
does that help?