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Representing the Cultural 'Other' in Young Adult Fiction: Two Approaches (Roni Natov)

Two award-winning novels published within the past few years in the United States depict the experience of being an ethnic minority in mainstream white America: American Born Chinese (2006) by Gene Luen Yang and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (2009) by Sherman Alexie. Yang’s Jin Wang is a Chinese-American boy living in an essentially white suburb and Alexie’s Junior is a Spokane Indian living on a reservation who attends an all-white high school. Both are treated and experience themselves as culturally “other.” This article will examine the differences and similarities in the depiction of the "other" in these two books.

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