Revisiting Seminal, Controversial Asian American Anthology Co-Edited by Professor Jeffery Paul Chan

Thursday, January 09, 2020

THE STRANGER (SEATTLE) -- Forty-five years ago, the editors of “Aiiieeeee!” — Frank Chin, Jeffery Paul Chan, Lawson Fusao Inada, and Shawn Wong — came out screaming with a combative introduction that sought to establish the definitive Asian American canon.

“After that conversation with my professors I met Jeff Chan. He was a grad student at San Francisco State University. He was unpublished at that time, but he was a writer,” said Shawn Wong, co-editor of the third edition of “Aiiieeeee!”. “He introduced me to Frank Chin, who had published one short story. Frank introduced me to Ishmael Reed. Reed introduced me to Alex Haley. The African American writers took me in. They made me part of their writers group. I went from studying dead British writers to hanging out with writers who were living and writing about things that were relevant.”