... racial “bloodlines”—resonated with authors and readers as strongly then as
now. Kin of Another Kind examines American literary representations of
transracial adoption to expand the collective understanding of where and how
the practice ...
Author: Cynthia Callahan
Publisher: University of Michigan Press
Category: Family & Relationships
"The study of transracial adoption has long been dominated by historians, legal scholars, and social scientists, but with the growth of the lively field of humanistic adoption studies comes a growing understanding of the importance of cultural representations to the social meanings and even the practices of adoption itself . . . This book makes a valuable contribution in showing how important the theme of adoption has been throughout the 20th century in representations of race relations, and in showing that the adoption theme has served to challenge racial norms as well as uphold them." ---Margaret Homans, Yale University Kin of Another Kind examines American literary representations of adoption across racial lines at key moments in the 20th century to help understand adoption's literary and social significance. In juxtaposing representations of African American, American Indian, and Korean and Chinese transracial and transnational adoptions, the book traces the metaphorical significance of adoption when it appears in fiction; at the same time, aligning these groups calls attention to their unique and divergent cultural histories with adoption, which serve as important contexts for the fiction discussed. Cynthia Callahan explores the fiction of canonical authors such as William Faulkner, Toni Morrison, Charles Chesnutt, Kate Chopin, Barbara Kingsolver, Gish Jen, and Anne Tyler and productively places it alongside lesser-known works by Robert E. Boles, Dallas Chief Eagle (Lakota), and Sui Sin Far, all works that, when reconsidered, can advance our understanding not only of adoption in literature but of 20th-century American literature in general. Cynthia Callahan is Assistant Professor in the Department of English at Ohio State University, Mansfield.