Food, race and the power of recuperative identity politics within Asian Australian women's fiction
Discussions about immigration and race have a long and rich history of emotive and literary metaphor. Depictions of corporeal and cultural contact between Asianness and Anglo/whiteness revolve around notions of an ‘Asian otherness’ as consuming, causing disease or diluting the white, Anglo body and its culture. This article considers the link between consumption, cuisine and agency in fiction by Asian Australian writers, Hsu- Ming Teo, Simone Lazaroo and Lillian Ng. It argues that the issue of whether these writers employ an oppositional poetics during the process of textualising or fictionalising their experience and reactions to racialised and gendered practices can be addressed through an evaluation of their deployment of the food metaphor. In other words, do these writers challenge the assumption of a monolithic national identity in which Australian multiculturalism is equated with eating or tasting but disavowing the other?