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Synopsis

Hmong American studies is becoming an important and respected area of research within the field of Asian American studies, and many of the general public have embraced new literature (novels, collections, plays, and poetry) by Hmong Americans. This essay, The Good Hmong Girl Eats Raw Laab, first appeared in the recent anthology Hmong and American: From Refugees to Citizens, an accessible, ground-breaking, up-to-date collection of writing by scholars, educators, artists, and community activists. In this provocative essay, poet, playwright, and writer Ka Vang examines the social and cultural implications of “a good Hmong girl” by addressing these issues: “What does it mean to be a good Hmong girl? Who defines the good Hmong girl? Who practices it and enforces the rules? What are the rewards and consequences for the Hmong girl and her family if she is not a good Hmong girl? Would Hmong culture be diminished if there were no more good Hmong girls left?

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