The Asian American Literary Review

The Asian American Literary Review is a space for writers who consider the designation “Asian American” a fruitful starting point for artistic vision and community. In showcasing the work of established and emerging writers, the journal aims to incubate dialogues and, just as importantly, open those dialogues to regional, national, and international audiences of all constituencies. It selects work that is, as Marianne Moore once put it, “an expression of our needs…[and] feeling, modified by the writer’s moral and technical insights.”

Published biannually, AALR features fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, comic art, interviews, and book reviews. Discover Nikkei will feature selected stories from their issues.

Visit their website for more information and to subscribe to the publication:

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Asian American Literature Forum Response by David Mura - Part 2

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Recently, in Minneapolis, Pangea World Theater presented Lebanese American writer Kathy Haddad’s Zafira: The Olive Oil Warrior, a work which imagines Arab and Muslim Americans being rounded up and interned in a manner similar to Japanese Americans in World War II. The play even employed a quotation from a 1942 LA Times editorial calling for the internment of Japanese Americans and merely substituted the term Arab Americans. I was one of the few audience members who recognized the quotation that so accurately mimicked the conditions today. (Since 9/11, 85,000 Arab and Muslim Americans have …

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Asian American Literature Forum Response by David Mura - Part 1

AALR Spring 2012 Issue

“Are there any continuities,” wonders scholar Min Hyoung Song, “between the earlier generation of writers which first raised the banner of an Asian American literature and a later generation of writers which inherited it?”

This is the question that the Asian American Literary Review’s Spring 2012 issue on “Generations” posed to writers, poets, playwrights, spoken word performers, scholars, and publishers of various generations, regions, and ethnic and artistic communities. What emerged was a vital survey of generational continuities and divergences—not to mention some necessary reevaluation of how “generations,” “Asian American,” and “Asian American literature” might be …

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José Watanabe

“The children of Japanese immigrants, we heard...that someday the whole family would return to Japan. The dream wasn’t too convincing, not even for our parents”1. The fifth of eleven children, the Japanese Peruvian poet José Watanabe (1946-2007) spent his early childhood in the sugar plantation town of Laredo, about three hundred miles north of Lima, in the region of La Libertad. There his issei migrant father met and married his Peruvian mother—“a mestiza Peruvian,” Watanabe elaborates in a recent interview.2 One fateful day his father found himself with a winning lottery ticket which allowed the Watanabe …

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Instructions to All Persons of Muslim Ancestry

Presidio of San Francisco, California
May 16, 2012

Living in the Following Area:

All that portion of the County of King, State of Washington, within that boundary beginning at a point about midway between
the Cities of Tacoma and Seattle (east of Des Moines) at which U. S. Highway 99 intersects Washington State Highway
No. 5A; thence easterly along said Highway No. 5A to Green River; thence easterly and following Green River to the King-
Kittitas County line; thence southerly and following the …

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From Gently to Nagasaki - Part 3

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The word “rape,” the word “murder,” the word “horror,” the word “atrocity,” the word “massacre,” none can adequately describe ‘that for which there is no word.’ Minnie Vautrin and Iris Chang were both, in the end, swallowed up in the quick sand. Iris Chang, a young woman of thirty-six committed suicide in 2004, driving away from home at 3:00 a.m. with a revolver, leaving a two-year-old son and a husband. I am told by a friend who knows a friend who knows the family of Iris Chang—three degrees of separation—that her suicide was not the result …

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