Soham Patel

Contemporary Asian American Literature

sohampatel_newbioimage2018_photocredit_chuckstebelton_0.webp

Soham Patel is an editor for the Georgia Review. She is also the author of to far from afar and ever really hear it. With a strong presence in the literature community, I wanted to hear more about her perspective of Asian-American Literature. 

What is Contemporary Asian-American Literature? Are there any common elements or trends you have noticed in this genre?  

The connection to the mother tongue is a common motif in Asian American Literature. In fact, it seems that now more than ever, contemporary Asian-American authors strive to understand the glue between their Asian identity and their American identity in texts such as Crying in H Mart, “The Paper Menagerie,” Seeing Ghosts, and more. How do you relate to this challenge, given your family’s experience of displacement and migration in to far from afar.  

In to far from afar, you include various poems, quotations, and images to create a multimedia text. Can you explain how you chose to organize the structure of content in this mixed media collection? 

As a Kundiman fellow, you were surrounded by many voices in the Asian-American Literature Community. Is there a piece of advice you received that shaped you as a writer? And what is one thing you wish you knew when you began your writing career? 

Asian-American Literature provides a platform for Asians to share their experiences. However, many publications leave out Asian voices. How can editors advocate for Asian representation in their publications? How have you faced this challenge in your experience as an editor? 

What are some forms of media (i.e. literature, films, podcasts) you would recommend to people who want to know more about Asian American Literature?