Added: July 4, 2015 – Last updated: December 5, 2015


Author: Marinella Rodi-Risberg

Title: Incest Trauma and Survival in Patricia Chao’s Monkey King

Subtitle: -

Journal: Studies in the Novel

Volume: 47

Issue: 1

Year: Spring 2015

Pages: 80-98

ISSN: 0039-3827 – Find a Library: WordCat | eISSN: 1934-1512 – Find a Library: WordCat

Language: English

Keywords: Modern History: 20th Century | American History: U.S. History | Offenders: Fathers; Representations: Literature / Patricia Chao; Types: Child Sexual Abuse; Victims: Daughters, Trauma



* JSTOR (Restricted Access)

* Project MUSE (Restricted Access)


Abstract: »The aim of this essay is to explore the trauma of incest in Patricia Chao’s Monkey King, a novel which places sexual abuse in a context of racism and a history of immigration through the intertextual use of the Chinese Monkey King narrative. It will focus specifically on the trope of survival which is a core feature of trauma theory and Asian American literature alike, and because it is also a reality for Asian Americans, it functions as cultural representation and social critique in Monkey King. Ultimately, I will argue that the novel’s act of breaking the silence of sexual abuse, often culturally reduced to untellable in the Chinese American family story, makes the novel an act of survival and resistance within American literature, implicating readers as witnesses to guarantee its literary and cultural survival.« (Source: Studies in the Novel)


  Incest, Intertextuality, and the Immigrant Experience: The Monkey King Tale (p. 82)
  "[T]oo dreadful to take in": Strategies of Survival (p. 87)
  Reading and/as Survival (p. 94)
  Notes (p. 96)
  Works Cited (p. 97)

Wikipedia: History of the Americas: History of the United States | Representation (arts): American literature | Trauma: Psychological trauma / Rape trauma syndrome | Types of rape: Child sexual abuse, Incest