English Literature Faculty and Student Collaborate on Publication

Dragonfish book cover

Quan-Manh Ha and Chase Greenfield collaborated and published (2017) ""It's oil and water": Race, Gender, Power, and Trauma in Vu Tran's Dragonfish," Asian American Literature: Discourses & Pedagogies: Vol. 8 , Article 5.

Quan-Manh Ha is Associate Professor of English at the University of Montana. His primary research fields include ethnic U.S. literature, Vietnam War literature, and literary translation.

Chase Greenfield is pursuing undergraduate degrees in English Literature and Philosophy at the University of Montana. Chase is working as a research assistant to Dr. Quan Ha and is interested in literary theory and contemporary fiction and poetry.

Check out their journal article here.

ABSTRACT: This article analyzes in-depth the interplay between race, gender, power, and trauma in Vu Tran’s debut novel, Dragonfish. We argue that Dragonfish focuses on the relationships, desires, and conflicts among its three protagonists—Robert, Suzy, and Sonny—to highlight how their postwar interactions complicate race, gender, trauma, and remembrance. The three protagonists engage in an intense socio-political struggle for dominance and control, which is riddled with irony, heart-wrenching pain, and misleading appearances. They experience hardship and loss, but they rely on each other for recovery from past and present trauma, and to advance their own varying personal priorities and agendas: while both of the male characters, Robert and Sonny, attempt individually to exercise control over Suzy, she in fact embodies the femme fatale archetype who subverts their dominance in order to act independently of their wills.