Year of Graduation


Level of Access

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Department or Program


First Advisor

Belinda Kong


My project approaches discussions of Asian American melancholia and mourning with a specific focus on contemporary Chinese American women’s fiction. Scholars such as David Eng, Shinhee Han, and Anne Anlin Cheng have long spotlighted the prevalence of depression among Asian American populations, particularly those with immigrant backgrounds, and they variously adopt psychoanalytic approaches to understand Asian American mental health and intersectional identities. Looking beyond psychoanalytic models, my project focuses on the works of Yiyun Li, Jenny Zhang, and K-Ming Chang to explore diverse forms of post-tragedy positionality. I read the authors paratextually, not only to locate them within legacies of diasporic fiction and intersectional auto-writing but also to highlight their critically self-reflexive authorship. I study novels and characters depicting complex processes of mourning, ultimately proposing a reading that views them not only as resisting complete recovery but as forging pathways toward liberatory grief.