The malleability of truth and language in Chay Yew's Porcelain and a language of their own

Quan Manh Ha, Andrew Vigesaa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


In Asian American literature and drama, the pursuit of identity was at the forefront of discussion for much of the twentieth century. More and more frequently Asian American voices from the LGBTQ community have addressed intersectionality in established narratives. As issues of identity and intersectionality converge, postmodernity becomes a useful lens through which to examine the elements of this task. In Chay Yew's plays entitled Porcelain and A Language of Their Own, the status of Asian identities in the Western world is not given a sure footing, but rather it is placed in a state of confusion. In Porcelain, this confusion stems from the tension between objective truth and the postmodern phenomenon of media-fueled panic. In A Language of Their Own, similar confusion arises between the subjective and performative conveying of meaning in language. These contrasting elements serve to highlight the postmodern search for identity among Asian men living in the Western world, where the complexities of identity are compounded by the subjectivity of truth.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-314
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Contemporary Drama in English
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 27 2018


  • AIDS
  • Asian American gay men
  • homophobia
  • news reportage
  • performative language
  • the problematization of truth


Dive into the research topics of 'The malleability of truth and language in Chay Yew's Porcelain and a language of their own'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this