This trio of books pulls together several strands of intellectual inquiry across academic disciplines. As a set, they nevertheless converge in their elaboration of what might be called a history of transpacific or a prehistory of Asian American literature, not so much in terms of opening an archive but instead in questioning the value and boundaries of canonical inclusion. In this regard, each work implicitly or explicitly asks how Asian American critique might facilitate new understandings of literature and cultural circulation prior to the formal instantiation of both the term Asian American and the larger field of inquiry that it names. To be clear, the texts tend to emphasize the transpacific, following scholars like Yunte Huang, Denise Cruz, and Viet Thanh Nguyen as a way of thinking through what So calls “the humanist principles of literature and art rather than politics or...

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