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Romancing Human RightsGender, Intimacy, and Power between Burma and the West$
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Tamara C. Ho

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780824839253

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824839253.001.0001

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Wendy Law-Yone

Wendy Law-Yone

Burmese Displacement and Co-occupancy in the United States

Chapter:
(p.92) 5 Wendy Law-Yone
Source:
Romancing Human Rights
Author(s):

Tamara C. Ho

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824839253.003.0006

This chapter examines the work of diasporic author Wendy Law-Yone to show how she takes up Burmese women's literary exploration of displacement, intimate labor, sex, and contact zones. Law-Yone is the first author of Burmese descent to write and publish fiction in English. To date, she has published two novels in the United States and one in England, in addition to a memoir of her father, a few short stories, and a number of nonfiction articles and book reviews. Focusing primarily on her 1993 novel Irrawaddy Tango, this chapter demonstrates how Law-Yone creatively capitalizes on the Burmese love of puns and wordplay to make explicit transnational connections and less visible forms of epistemic violence and discipline. It argues that Irrawaddy Tango suggests a nonpossessive mode of witnessing and co-occupancy as a Burmese-inflected alter/native to a voyeuristic mode of transnational consumption.

Keywords:   displacement, Wendy Law-Yone, Burmese women, intimate labor, sex, contact zones, Irrawaddy Tango, violence, witnessing, co-occupancy

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