Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Ommundsen, W. 2011, ‘This story does not begin on a boat’: what is Australian about Asian Australian writing?, Continuum: Journal of Media and Cultural Studies, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 503-513.


With reference to recent debates about the politics of representation, this paper argues that a profound ambivalence about identity, and particularly about Asian Australian identity, is a common characteristic that marks this writing as specifically Australian. Tracing cultural contexts from the 'pathologies' of Australian multicultural debates to other transnational literary traditions, the paper issues examples from the writing of Brain Castro, Alice Pung, Ouyang Yu, Nam Le, Shaun Tan, and Tom Cho to speculate on the emergence of a new and distinct phase of transnational writing in Australia.