“Want to be a superior man?”: The Production Chinese Canadian Masculinities in Paul Yee’s Writing

Lindsay Diehl


This paper examines the re-imagining of Chinese Canadian masculinity in Paul Yee’s novel, A Superior Man (2015). Unlike Yee’s previous writing, this novel does not describe Chinese Canadian men as Western Frontier heroes. Rather, it illustrates how Chinese immigration intersects with the oppression of Indigenous peoples, and how notions of masculinity are produced within settler colonialism. The novel thus provides an important entry point into discussions about how to make Indigenous presence and colonization foundational to anti-racist efforts. Yet, since it represents Indigenous peoples as largely peripheral, the novel also points to how much anti-colonial work remains to be done.


Inter-racialized relations; Chinese Canadian Literature; Canadian Literature; Canadian Cultural Studies

Full Text:

PDF           How to cite item


Chao, Lien. Beyond Silence: Chinese Canadian Literature in English. TSAR, 1997.

Coleman, Daniel. White Civility. U of Toronto P, 2006.

Coulthard, Glen Sean. Red Skin, White Masks: Rejecting the Colonial Politics of Recognition. U of Minnesota P, 2014.

Cua, Antonio. “Confucian Vision and Experience of the World.” Philosophy East and West, vol. 25, no. 3, Jul. 1975, pp. 319-333. dx.doi.org/10.2307/1398202.

Lawrence, Bonita, and Enakshi Dua. “Decolonizing Antiracism.” Social Justice, vol. 32, no. 4, Dec. 2005, pp. 120-143. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/29768340.

Lee, Ruthann. “‘My History is a Foreign Word’: (Re)imagining Black Diasporic Masculinities in David Chariandy’s Soucouyant.” Topia, vol. 33, Spring 2015, pp. 75-98, http://topia. journals.yorku.ca/index.php/topia/article/ view/39530/36410.

Mawani, Renisa. Colonial Proximities: Crossracial Encounters and Juridical Truths in British Columbia, 1871-1921. U of British Columbia P, 2009.

McClintock, Anne. Imperial leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest. Routledge, 1995.

Millington, Brad, Patricia Vertinsky, Ellexis Boyle, and Brian Wilson. “Making Chinese- Canadian Masculinities in Vancouver’s Physical Education Curriculum.” Sport, Education and Society, vol. 13, no. 2, May 2008, pp. 195-214. dx.doi. org/10.1080/ 13573320801957095.

Pon, Gordon. “The Art of War or the Wedding Banquet? Asian Canadians, Masculinity, and Antiracism Education.” Canadian Journal of Education, vol. 25, no. 2, Jan. 2000, pp. 139-151. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/1585747.

Regan, Paulette. Unsettling the Settler Within: Indian Residential Schools, Truth Telling, and Reconciliation in Canada. U of British Columbia P, 2010.

Rosenlee, Li-Hsiang Lisa. Confucianism and Women: A Philosophical Interpretation. SUNY, 2006.

Stanley, Timothy. Contesting White Supremacy: School Segregation, Anti-Racism, and the Making of Chinese Canadians. U of British Columbia P, 2011.

Stevenson, Winona. “Colonialism and First Nations Women in Canada.” Scratching the Surface: Canadian Anti-Racist Feminist Thought, edited by Enakshi Dua and Angela Robertson, Women’s Press, 1999, pp. 49-80.

Tolmie, Jane, and Karis Shearer. “Masculinities in Canadian Literature.” Canadian Perspectives on Men and Masculinities: An Interdisciplinary Reader, edited by Jason Laker, Oxford UP, 2012, pp. 92-113.

Wong, Rita. “Decolonizasian: Reading Asian and First Nations Relations in Literature.” Canadian Literature, vol. 199, Winter 2008, pp. 158-178, https://canlit.ca/ article/ decolonizasian-reading-asian-and-first-nations-relations-in-literature/.

Yee, Paul. A Superior Man. Arsenal Pulp, 2015.

---. Tales from Gold Mountain: Stories of the Chinese in the New World. Paintings by Simon Ng. Groundwood, 1989.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.33776/candb.v8i1.3606


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

ISSN: 2254-1179
Entidad editora: Universidad de Huelva. Servicio de Publicaciones
Licencia de usoCreative Commons 4.0