Novelist Duong Thu Huong was first published in translation by Des Femmes, France’s feminist publishing house. When I arrived in Paris in fall 2000 you could still see its name in fading letters above the former storefront.
The influence in the United States of such Parisian theorists as Julia Kristeva gives a misleading impression of the success of feminism in France. The therapist, married young to one of France’s richest men, is an anomaly among leading academics there not only as a woman but as an immigrant.
France is for the French and in French language that observation indicates that the nation is for French men. In the United States, where birth control and child care are bitterly contested as they are not in that Roman Catholic country, women nonetheless have won parity in our universities.
Our success is obvious in ethnic studies, a demarche from cultural difference inconceivable in the nation of freedom, equality and brotherhood. Trinh T. Minh-ha, Thu-Huong Nguyen-Vo, Mariam Beevi Lam, Caroline Kieu-Linh Valverde, and Isabelle Thuy Pelaud are just five professors among many in Vietnamese American feminism alone.
Isabelle has just published her first book. this is all i choose to tell addresses the entire field of Vietnamese American imaginative writers in English and their reception across ethnic studies in the university.
Isabelle and her collaborators have worked for fifteen years to collect and critique Southeast Asian women’s art. They have further raised $6,000 toward printing reproductions properly.
They need more. Send a check care of Isabelle Thuy Pelaud at Asian American Studies, San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94132.