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How to Write an Autobiographical Novel Quotes

Alexander Chee
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In Maine, my background—half white, half Korean—was constantly made to seem alien, or exotic, or somehow inhuman.
-- Alexander Chee (Essay 1, "The Curse" paragraph 1)

Importance: This line from Chee’s first essay offers a kind of starting point in his subsequent reflections on appearance and identity. While being half white and half Korean may not seem particularly exotic or alien to those with more cosmopolitan backgrounds, Chee grew up in a small, homogenous community in Maine, and was made to feel both apart and subordinate on account of his unusual heritage. Identity for Chee is therefore not a matter of self-selection, but in at least partial measure, something imposed by appearance, and by the what he at one point describes as “the limited imaginations of others” (14). This line also reveals the degree to which comfortable belonging remained allusive in his early life, inaugurating consistent themes around questions of identity, status and power in different settings of...

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This section contains 1,942 words
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Buy the How to Write an Autobiographical Novel Study Guide
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