Emigration and Immigration in Literature

Start Free Trial

Glossary Of Literary Terms

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 2833

Bildungsroman: A novel of education and development, focusing on a protagonist's formative experiences, and deriving critically from eighteenth-century German literature, but since used more widely to describe many other such novels in western and other literatures. Claire Buck argues that the term has “… been appropriated by feminist critics to describe the feminist genre created by European and North American women writers, particularly in the 1970s: the novel of self-development in which the heroine typically moves from being a victim of patriarchy to independence or increased awareness.”1

Constructivism: An artistic movement that developed in post-revolutionary (1917) Russia. Constructivist art was supposed to emerge from industrial experiences and practices, representing the importance of working class peoples and factory-based production techniques. The artist would related intimately to working society, rather than being of a higher, parasitical class. Constructivist art was usually three-dimensional, with painting merging with sculpture, and print or poster-making techniques (mass production) being of great importance.

Counter-Discourse: A type of writing most obviously utilized by postcolonial authors. Counter-discourse means to write back, or against, the values of a dominant cultural and political force. For example, post-colonial writers are usually attempting to resist the values of colonial domination by reconfiguring cultural values, say, with the use of indigenous ritual in a play or returning to more authentic modes of indigenous myth. However, counter-discursive works do not nostalgically try to recover the past: they are usually hybrid works which synthesize indigenous cultures with current-day realities and concerns.

Modernism: An artistic movement that dominated the early twentieth-century. Modernism is a break from past artistic forms, and a re-coding and re-presenting of experience in the modern mechanized and highly urbanized world. The rise of mass production and the brutal mass deaths during the First World War lead in part to a new sensibility and an awareness that the old artistic forms were not adequate; conventional modes of representation were replaced with highly experimental, fragmented approaches such as Cubism and Surrealism.

Poststructuralism: A critical approach which argues that texts are not as unified and self-expressing as was once thought. Texts are usually shown to be composed of structures or arguments at odds with one another, leading to a critical destabilizing or deconstruction. Poststructuralists are more interested in the philosophical implications of their approach, but other critics often start here before moving on to make more political moves.

Stream of Consciousness: A literary technique designed to offer a more accurate description of the mind's interior processes. Stream-of-consciousness is not a completely random sequence of words (unlike the Surrealists use of ‘automatic writing’) but simply a different way of creating causal jumps and links in the flow of a character's thoughts and feelings that seem more like our everyday thought processes.


  1. Claire Buck, ed., Bloomsbury Guide to Women's Literature, London: Bloomsbury, 1992, p. 344.

Works Cited

Italian-American Bibliography

Cammett, John M. ed. The Italian-American Novel: Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference, 25 October 1969. Staten Island, NY: The American-Italian Historical Association, n.d.

Casciato, Arthur D. “The Bricklayer as Bricoleur: Pietro Di Donato and the Cultural Politics of the Popular Front,” VIA: Voices in Italian Americana, 2 (2, Fall 1991): 67-78.

Coles, Nicholas. “Mantraps: Men at Work, in Pietro Di Donato's Christ in Concrete and Thomas Bell's Out of This Furnace,MELUS 14 (3 and 4, Fall-Winter 1987): 23-32.

Cooper, Stephen. Full of Life: A Biography of John Fante, New York: North Point Press, 2000.

Cooper, Stephen and David Fine, eds. John Fante: A Critical Gathering, Madison, N.J.: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1999.

Fine, David. “Down and Out in...

(This entire section contains 2833 words.)

See This Study Guide Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this study guide. You'll also get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Los Angeles: John Fante'sAsk the Dust,Californians, 9, no. 2 (September-October 1991): 48-51.

Gardaphé, Fred L. “Italian-American Fiction: A Third-Generation Renaissance,” MELUS 14 (3 and 4, Fall-Winter 1987): 69-85.

Gardaphé, Fred L. “My House Is Not Your House: Jerre Mangione and Italian-American Autobiography,” in, Robert James Payne, ed., Multicultural Autobiography: American Lives, pp. 139-177.

Gardaphé, Fred L. Italian Signs, American Streets: The Evolution of Italian American Narrative, Durham and London: Duke University Press, 1996.

Geduld, Harry M. “Christ in Concrete: Fiction in Film,” Rivista di Studi Anglo-America, 3, nos. 4 and 5 (1984-85): 241-256.

Gordon, Neil. “Realization and Recognition: The Art and Life of John Fante,” Boston Review (October-November 1993): 24-29.

Green, Rose. The Italian-American Novel: A Document of the Interaction of Two Cultures, Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1974.

Mangione, Anthony R. “The Story That Has Not Been Told: A Selective Bibliography Dealing with the Italian-American Experience,” English Record, 25 (1, Winter 1973-1974): 25-34.

Malpezzi, Frances and William Clements. Italian-American Folklore, Little Rock, Ark.: August House, 1992.

Mathias, Elizabeth and Richard Raspa. Italian Folktales in America: The Verbal Art of an Immigrant Woman, Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 1985.

Mulas, Franco. “The Ethnic Language of Pietro Di Donato's Christ in Concrete,” in, Anthony Julian Tamburri, Paolo A. Giordano and Fred L Gardaphé, eds., From the Margin: Writings in Italian Americana, West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 1991, pp. 307-315.

Patti, Samuel J. “Recent Italian American Literature: The Case of John Fante,” in, Anthony Julian Tamburri, Paolo A. Giordano and Fred L Gardaphé, eds., From the Margin: Writings in Italian Americana, West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 1991, pp. 329-337.

Peragallo, Olga. Italian-American Authors and Their Contribution to American Literature, New York: S. F. Vanni, 1949.

Pleasants, Ben. “Stories of Irony from the Hand of John Fante,” Los Angeles Times Book Review, July 8 (1979): 3.

Russo, John Paul. “The Choice of Gilbert Sorrentino,” in, Anthony Julian Tamburri, Paolo A. Giordano and Fred L. Gardaphé, eds., From the Margin: Writings in Italian Americana, West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 1991, pp. 338-356.

Salzman, Jack and Barry Wallenstein, eds. Years of Protest: A Collection of American Writings of the 1930s.

Tamburri, Anthony Julian, Paolo A. Giordano and Fred L Gardaphé, eds., From the Margin: Writings in Italian Americana, West Lafayette, Ind.: Purdue University Press, 1991.

Tamburri, Anthony Julian, “Giose Rimanelli's Benedetta in Guysterland: A ‘Liquid’ Novel of Questionable Textual Boundaries,” World Literature Today, 68 (3, 1994): 473-78.

Torgovnick, Marianna, “The Godfather as the World's Most Typical Novel,” South Atlantic Quarterly, 87 (2, 1988): 329-53.

Vitiello, Justin. “Sicilian Folk Narrative versus Sicilian-American Literature: Mangione's Mount Allegro,MELUS, 18 (2, Summer 1992): 61-75.

Jewish- and East European-American Bibliography

Adams, Stephen J. “The Noisiest Novel Ever Written: The Soundscape of Henry Roth's Call It Sleep.Twentieth Century Literature (Spring, 1989): 43-64.

Ashley, Kathleen. “Mary Antin's ‘Biomythography,’” in Writing Lives: American Biography and Autobiography, Hans Bak and Hans Krabbendam, eds., Amsterdam, Netherlands: VU UP, 1998, pp. 42-54.

Bergland, Betty. “Rereading Photographs and Narratives in Ethnic Autobiography: Memory and Subjectivity in Mary Antin's The Promised Land,” in Memory, Narrative, and Identity: New Essays in Ethnic American Literatures, Amritjit Singh, Joseph T. Skerrett Jr., and Robert E. Hogan, eds., Boston: Northeastern UP, 1994, pp. 45-88.

Burke, Kenneth. “More about Roth's Call It Sleep.New Masses, 14 (February 26, 1935): 21.

Chametzky, Jules. “Memory and Silences in the Work of Tillie Olsen and Henry Roth,” in, Amritjit Singh, Joseph T. Skerrett, Jr., and Robert E. Hogan, eds., Memory, Narrative, and Identity: New Essays in Ethnic American Literatures, Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1994: pp. 114-127

Dominguez, Susan. “Snapshots of Twentieth-Century Writers Mary Antin, Zora Neal Hurston, Zitkala-Sa, and Anzia Yezierska.” The Centennial Review, 41, 3, (Fall 1997): 547-552.

Flinker, Noam. “The Dying of the Light: American Jewish Self-Portrayal in Henry Roth and Robert Mezey,” in, Hans-Jurgen Schrader, Simon M. Elliott and Charlotte Wardi, eds., The Jewish Self-Portrait in European and American Literature, Tubingen: Niemeyer, 1996: pp. 147-157

Freedman, William. “Henry Roth and the Redemptive Imagination,” in, Warren French, ed., The Thirties: Fiction, Poetry, Drama, Deland, Fl: Everett Edwards, 1967, pp. 107-114.

Guttmann, Allen. The Jewish Writer in America: Assimilation and the Crisis of Identity, New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

Howe, Irving. World of Our Fathers: the journey of the East European Jews to America and the life they found and made, London: Phoenix, 2000.

Kellman, Steven G. “Lost in the Promised Land: Eva Hoffman Revises Mary Antin.” Prooftexts, 18, 2 (May 1998): 149-159.

Kramer, Michael P. “Assimilation in The Promised Land: Mary Antin and Jewish Origins of the American Self.” Prooftexts, 18, 2 (May 1998): 121-148.

Ledbetter, Kenneth. “Henry Roth's Call It Sleep: The Revival of a Proletarian Novel,” Twentieth Century Literature, 12 (1966): 123-130.

Lyons, Bonnie. “The Symbolic Structure of Henry Roth's Call It Sleep,Contemporary Literature, 13 (1972): 186-203.

Proefriedt, William A. “The Immigrant or ‘Outsider’ Experience as Metaphor for Becoming an Educated Person in the Modern World: Mary Antin, Richard Wright and Eva Hoffman.” MELUS, 16, 2 (Spring 1989-1990): 77-89.

Robbins, Bruce. “Modernism in History, Modernism in Power,” in Robert Kiely and John Hildebidle, eds., Modernism Reconsidered, Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1983: pp. 229-245.

Rubin, Steven J. “Style and Meaning in Mary Antin's The Promised Land: A Reevaluation.” Studies of American Jewish Literature, 5, (1986): 35-43.

Shavelson, Susanne A. “Anxieties of Authorship in the Autobiographies of Mary Antin and Aliza Greenblatt.” Prooftexts, 18, 2 (May 1998): 161-186.

Sherman, Bernard. The Invention of the Jew: Jewish-American Education Novels, 1916-1964, New York: Thomas Yoseloff, 1969

Simon, Rita J. In The Golden Land: A Century of Russian and Soviet Jewish Immigration in America, Westport, Connecticut: Praeger, 1997.

Sokoloff, Naomi. “Discoveries of Reading: Stories of Childhood by Bialik, Shahar, and Roth,” Hebrew Annual Review, 9 (1985): 321-342.

Sorin, Gerald. A Time for Building: The Third Migration, 1880-1920, volume III of The Jewish People In America, General Editor Henry L. Feingold, Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1992.

Wirth-Nesher, Hana. “Between Mother Tongue and Native Language: Multilingualism in Henry Roth's Call It Sleep,Prooftexts, 10 (2, 1990): pp. 297-312

Wirth-Nesher, Hana. “Call It Sleep: Jewish, American, Modernist, Classic.” Judaism: A Quarterly Journal of Jewish Life and Thought, 44, 4 (1995): 388-398.

Wyatt-Brown, Anne M. “Creative Change: The Life and Work of Four Novelists: Jane Austen, E. M. Forster, Barbara Pym, and Henry Roth,” Journal of Aging and Identity, 3 (2, June 1998): 67-75.

Yudkin, Leon Israel. Jewish Writing and Identity in the Twentieth Century. London and Canberra: Croom Helm, 1982.

Zaborowska, Magdalena J. How We Found America: Reading Gender through East-European Immigrant Narratives. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Zierler, Wendy. “In(ter)dependent Selves: Mary Antin, Elizabeth Stern, and Jewish Women's Autobiography,” in The Immigrant Experience in North American Literature: Carving Out a Niche, Katherine B. Payant and Toby Rose, eds., Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1999, pp. 1-16.

Chinese-American Bibliography

Bloom, Harold, ed. Asian-American Women Writers, Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 1997.

Chin, Frank, Jeffery Paul Chan, Lawson Fusao Inada and Shawn Hsu Wong, eds. Aiiieeeee! An Anthology of Asian-American Writers, Garden City, New York: Anchor Press/Doubleday, 1975 (originally published by Howard University Press, 1975).

Dong, Lorraine and Marlon K. Hom, “Defiance or Perpetuation: An Analysis of Characters in Mrs. Spring Fragrance.” In, Him Mark Lai, Ruthanne Lum McCunn and Judy Yung, eds., Chinese America: History and Perspectives, San Francisco: Chinese Historical Society of America, 1987, pp. 139-168.

Doyle, James. “Sui Sin Far and Onoto Watanna: Two Early Chinese-Canadian Authors.” Canadian Literature, 140 (Spring 1994): 50-58.

Ghymn, Esther Mikyung. The Shapes and Styles of Asian American Prose Fiction, New York: Peter Lang, 1992.

Hirata, Lucie Cheng. “Chinese Immigrant Women in Nineteenth-Century California.” In, Carol Ruth Berkin and Mary Beth Norton, eds., Women of America: A History, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1979, pp. 222-244.

Ho, Wendy. In Her Mother's House: The Politics of Asian-American Mother-Daughter Writing, Walnut Creek and Oxford: Altamira Press, 1999.

Huang, Guiyou, ed. Asian American Autobiographers: A Bio-Bibliographical Critical Source Book, Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press, 2001.

Hyung-Chan, Kim. Asian American Studies: An Annotated Bibliography and Research Guide, Westport, Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press, 1989.

LaFargue, Thomas. China's First Hundred: Educational Mission Students in the United States, 1872-1881, Pullmann: Washington State University Press, 1988.

Li, David Leiwei. Imagining the Nation: Asian American Literature and Cultural Consent, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, 1998.

Lim, Shirley Geok-Lin. “The Tradition of Chinese American Women's Life Stories: Thematics of Race and Gender in Jade Snow Wong's Fifth Chinese Daughter and Maxine Hong Kingston's The Woman Warrior,” in American Women's Autobiography: Fea(s)ts of Memory, Margo Culley, ed., Madison: U of Wisconsin UP, 1992, pp. 252-267.

Ling, Amy. “Edith Eaton: Pioneer Chinamerican Writer and Feminist” American Literary Realism, 16 (Autumn, 1983): 287-298.

Ling, Amy. “Written with a Cause: Sui Sin Far and Han Suyin,” Women's Studies International Forum, 4 (1986): 411-19.

Ling, Amy. Between Worlds: Women Writers of Chinese Ancestry, New York: Pergamon, 1990.

Ling, Jinqi. Narrating Nationalisms: Ideology and Form in Asian American Literature, New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998.

McCann, Sean. “Connecting Links: The Anti-Progressivism of Sui Sin Far.” Yale Journal of Criticism, 12, 1 (Spring 1999): 73-88.

MeiBenburg, Karen. The Writing on the Wall: Socio-Historical Aspects of Chinese American Literature, 1900-1980, Frankfurt: Wissenschaft und Forschung, 1986.

Roh-Spaulding, Carol. “‘Wavering’ Images: Mixed Race Identity in the Stories of Edith Eaton/Sui Sin Far,” in Ethnicity and the American Short Story, Julia Brown, ed., New York: Garland, 1997, pp. 155-176.

Rudinger de Rodyenko, S. P. “Chinese Characters in American Fiction.” Bookman, 58 (November 1923): 255-59.

Solberg, S. E. “Sui Sin Far/Edith Eaton: The First Chinese American Fictionist.” MELUS, 8, 1 (Spring 1981): 27-39.

Su, Karen. “Jade Snow Wong's Badge of Distinction in the 1990s.” Hitting Critical Mass: A Journal of Asian American Cultural Criticism, 2, 1 (Winter 1994): 3-52.

White-Parks, Annette. “Journey to the Golden Mountain: Chinese Immigrant Women,” in Women and the Journey: The Female Travel Experience, Bonnie Frederick and Susan H. McLeod, eds., Pullman: Washington State UP, 1993, pp. 101-117.

White-Parks, Annette. Sui Sin Far/Edith Maude Eaton: A Literary Biography, Urbana: U of Illinois P, 1995.

White-Parks, Annette. “A Reversal of American Concepts of ‘Other-ness’ in the Fiction of Sui Sin Far.” MELUS, 20, 1 (Spring 1995): 17-34.

White-Parks, Annette. “Intersections of Gender and Cultural Difference as Both Impediment and Inspiration to Sui Sin Far, a Canadian/American Writer,” in Intersexions: Issues of Race and Gender in Canadian Women's Writing, Coomi S. Vevaina and Barbara Godard, eds., New Delhi: Creative, 1996, pp. 197-218.

Wong, K. Scott and Sucheng Chan, eds., Claiming America: Constructing Chinese American Identities During The Exclusion Era (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998).

Wong, Cynthia Sau Ling. “Ethnicizing Gender: An Exploration of Sexuality as Sign in Chinese Immigrant Literature,” in Reading the Literatures of Asian America, Shirley Geok-Lin Lim and Amy Ling, eds., Philadelphia: Temple UP, 1992, pp. 111-130.

Wong, Cynthia Sau Ling. Reading Asian American Literature: From Necessity to Extravagance, Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1993.

Wong, Sau-ling C. “What's in a Name? Defining Chinese American Literature of the Immigrant Generation.” In, Gail M. Nomura, Russell Endo, Stephen H. Sumida and Russell C. Long, eds., Frontiers of Asian American Studies, Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1989.

Wu, William. Yellow Peril: Chinese Americans in American Fiction, Hamden, Conn.: Archon Books, 1982.

Yin, Kathleen Lo Swee. “The Divided Voice of Chinese-American Narration: Jade Snow Wong's Fifth Chinese Daughter.MELUS, 9, 1 (Spring 1982): 53-59.

Yin, Xiao-Huang. “Between East and West: Sui Sin Far—the First Chinese-American Woman Writer.” Arizona Quarterly, 47, 4 (Winter 1991): 49-84.

Yu, Ning. “Fanny Fern and Sui Sin Far: The Beginning of an Asian American Voice.” Women and Language, 19, 2 (Fall 1996): 44-47.

Japanese-American Bibliography

Crow, Charles L. “The Issei Father in the Fiction of Hisaye Yamamoto,” in Fur eine offene Literaturwissenschaft: Erkundungen und Eroprobungen am Beispiel US-amerikanischer Texte/Opening Up Literary Criticism: Essays on American Prose and Poetry, Leo Truchler, ed., Salzburg: Neugebauer, 1986, pp. 34-40.

Daniels, Roger. Concentration Camps, USA: Japanese Americans and World War II, New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. Reprinted as Concentration Camps, North America: Japanese in the United States and Canada During World War II, Malabara, Fla: Krieger, 1981.

Dodge, Georgina. “Laughter of the Samurai: Humor in the Autobiography of Etsu Sugimoto.” MELUS, 21, 4 (Winter 1996): 57-69.

Girdner, Audrie and Anne Loftis. The Great Betrayal: The Evacuation of the Japanese Americans During World War II, New York: Macmillan, 1969.

Hassell, Malve von. “Issei Women: Silences and Fields of Power.” Feminist Studies, 19, 3 (Fall 1993): 549-569.

Hata, Donald T., Jr. “Undesirables”: Early Immigrants and the Anti-Japanese Movement in San Francisco, 1792-1893, New York: Arno Press, 1978.

Ichioka, Yuji. Views from Within: The Japanese American Evacuation and Resettlement Study, Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies, 1989.

Irons, Peter. Justice at War: The Story of the Japanese American Internment Cases, New York: Oxford University Press, 1983.

Lim, Shirley Geok-Lin. “Japanese American Women's Life Stories: Maternality in Monica Sone's Nisei Daughter and Joy Kogawa's Obasan.Feminist Studies, 16, 2 (Summer 1990): 288-312.

Ling, Jinqi. “Race, Power, and Cultural Politics in John Okada's No-No Boy.American Literature, 67, 2 (June 1995): 359-381.

Sawada, Mitziko. Tokyo Life, New York Dreams: Urban Japanese Visions of America, 1890-1924, Berkeley, Los Angeles and London: University of California Press, 1996.

Streamas, John. “The Invention of Normality in Japanese American Internment Narratives,” in Ethnicity and the American Short Story, Julia Brown, ed., New York: Garland, 1997, pp. 125-140.

Sumida, Stephen H. “Protest and Accommodation: Self-Satire and Self-Effacement, and Monica Sone's Nisei Daughter,” in Multicultural Autobiography: American Lives, James Robert Payne, ed., Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 1992: pp. 207-247.

Tateishi, John. And Justice for All: An Oral History of the Japanese American Detention Camps, New York: Random House, 1984.

Taylor, Sandra C. Jewel of the Desert: Japanese American Internment at Topaz, Berkeley, Los Angeles and Oxford: University of California Press, 1993.

Usui, Masami. “An Issei Woman's Suffering, Silence, and Suicide in John Okada's No-No Boy.Chu Shikoku Studies in American Literature, 33 (June 1997): 43-61.

Yogi, Stan. “Yearning for the Past: The Dynamics of Memory in Sansei Internment Poetry,” in Memory and Cultural Politics: New Approaches to American Ethnic Literatures, Joseph T. Skerrett Jr., and Robert E. Hogan, eds., Boston: Northeastern UP, 1996, pp. 245-265.

Yogi, Stan. “Voices from a Generation Found: The Literary Legacy of Nisei Writers.” Forkroads: A Journal of Ethnic American Literature, 5 (Fall 1996): 64-73.

Weglyn, Michi. Years of Infamy: The Untold Story of America's Concentration Camps, New York: William Morrow, 1976.


The Literature Of The U.S. Immigrant Experience As Studied