How What You Eat Defines Who You Are. The Food Theme in Four American Writers

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An examination of identity using the trope of food and the theory of multicultural feminism to analyze the relationships between husband and wife, parent and child, and an individual and his or her local community depicted in contemporary American fictional works—The Woman Warrior, The Color Purple, Love Medicine, and The Joy Luck Club—by minority women writers and their film adaptations, The Color Purple (1985) by Steven Spielberg and The Joy Luck Club (1993) by Wayne Wang.


“This study gives the reader a new critical lens through which to view these works. Through a comparative study across different racial lines, Chang has been able to give new insights into the various types of relationships depicted in the four works under examination. She has thus helped to enhance the significance of these works which have become a part of the canon of late twentieth-century American literature.” – Prof. Wendell Aycock, Texas Tech University

“As feminist scholarship has recognized the importance of moving beyond the focus upon the experiences of white, middle class women, there is an increasing interest in exploring the way that race, class, and gender work together to shape the experiences of men and women.” – Prof. Charlotte Chorn Dunham, Texas Tech University

“Chang goes beyond contemporary interpretation in her analysis, showing that food images and consumption are vehicles to portray individual and collective identity.” – Prof. Ann Daghistany Ransdell, Texas Tech University

Table of Contents

Foreword by Dr. Wendell Aycock
1. Food Consumption and the Troubled Self in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior, Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, and Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine
2. Consuming the Beloved and Being Transformed: Love Triangles in Louise Erdrich’s Love Medicine and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple
3. Taste and Collective Identity in Maxine Hong Kingston’s The Woman Warrior and Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club
4. Food, Domestic Space, and Gender Identity in Steven Spielberg’s The Color Purple and Wayne Wang’s The Joy Luck Club

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