Annotated Bibliography

Besser, Gretchen Rous. The French Review, vol. 82, no. 1, 2008, pp. 202–03. JSTOR, Accessed 16 Dec. 2022.

In Besser’s review of Kathy, she does a brief analysis of the novel written by Patrice Juiff. The story is about a young woman named Kathy who leaves her loving foster family to seek out her blood family, only to discover said family is cruel, and essentially become their indentured servant. Besser discusses the authors background in television, and how his novel leans more towards extremist caricatures than realistic characters, as an allegory for the various psychological reasons a person may choose to stay in an abusive situation, as Kathy does. Besser compares the piece to a fairy tale for its ridiculous leanings towards an abstract idea of abuse squallor, but compliments the author for his use of descriptive language and prose, which keep the reader hooked on the story itself. This piece is useful for gaining insight into Kathy on its own, but also for isolating its main themes, and how this story can be connected to other stories, or even real life scenarios that have the same ideas behind them. It is a quick read, and offers a good jumping off point to spark ideas for the themes of one’s own writing.

Carr, Stephen Leo, and Peggy A. Knapp. “Seeing through Macbeth.” PMLA, vol. 96, no. 5, 1981, pp. 837–47. JSTOR, Accessed 16 Dec. 2022.

Seeing Through Macbeth by Stephen Leo Carr and Peggy A. Knapp is an eleven page literary analysis of Macbeth, which is used as the framework to examine how Shakespeare’s works are as universal as they are, and how said universalness shifts through the ages and different cultural examinations. It begins by looking at how other pieces have achieved such far reach, such as Christian works, and then focuses in on Shakespeare, then further in on Macbeth. The section I used for my essay focused on Freudian Psychology, and how Lady Macbeth is both Macbeth’s wife, but also symbolically his mother for pulling him into the world of crime and intrigue that is afoot in hiw court. This piece provides ample insight to the story and its characters through psychological and historical examination, providing great supporting evidence, and serving well as a way to cross-check ideas and insure they make sense. Stephen Leo Carr works as the director of the Literature Program at the University of Pittsburg, and Peggy A. Knapp works at Carnegie Mellon University as a professor emeritus of English.

Franklin, MJ. “MashReads Podcast.” ‘The Paper Menagerie’ is a heartbreaking story of family and immigration, told in just a few pages. 2018. Podcast.

“The story is a powerful allegory about the experience that so many children of immigrants have. But in addition to describing an allegory of how we relate to our heritage, the story is also a heartbreaking look at the ways children relate or distance themselves from their parents as they grow up.”

Hang, YU. “An Analysis of the Reconstruction of Chinese American Identity in The Paper Menagerie.” Journal of Literature and Art Studies, vol. 10, no. 9, Sept. 2020, p. 6.

This article, written by a student at Jinan University in China, explores the “identity dilemma” (1) in “The Paper Menagerie” by Ken Liu: the dilemma of conflicting cultures and desires experienced primarily by second-generation immigrants. This article by YU Hang explores how cultures are perceived by their participants when they are in a setting where that culture is considered dominant or a minority. Because second-generation immigrants are the primary subject of the article, Jack is the focus and his experience is used as a parallel to what many Chinese-Americans experience everyday. This article explains the push and pull of identity in “The Paper Menagerie” succinctly and effectively. It is an invaluable resource for projects concerned with Chinese American identity, “The Paper Menagerie,” or the authorship of Ken Liu.

Jabeen, Tahira, et al. “Magical Realism in Ken Liu’s Short Stories.” The Dialogue, vol. 17, no. 4, Nov. 2022, p. 16,

This essay by students at The University of Azad Jammu & Kashmir analyzes the elements of magical realism and their significance in three short stories by Ken Liu, including “The Paper Menagerie.” The essay explores how magical realism became established in the “post-colonial world for depicting colonialism” (1) and how the genre brings an elevated emotional intensity to what could otherwise be purely historical information. This article is a compelling interpretation of Liu’s work as post-colonial literature and will be useful for anyone researching Liu, magical realism, colonialism, or post-colonialism.

Lee, David C., and Stephen M. Quintana. “Benefits of Cultural Exposure and Development of Korean Perspective-Taking Ability for Transracially Adopted Korean Children.” Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, vol. 11, no. 2, May 2005, pp. 130–43. EBSCO host, Accessed 26 Apr. 2023.

David C. Lee and Stephen M. Quintana in the article “Benefits of Cultural Exposure and Development of Korean Perspective-Taking Ability for Transracially Adopted Korean Children” discusses the research done on transracial adoption. The authors examine the placement of Korean children with parents of another racial or ethnic group. Through this research, Lee presents studies that deal with the psychological well-being and cultural identity of these adopted children. The studies show how well these transracially adopted children adjust to their adoption by other races and ethnic groups. Additionally, they show how these children have had a more challenging time developing this biracial identification. Furthermore, Lee includes the negative racial experiences that may have influenced the children’s development in understanding their own origin of culture. Finally, Lee compares transracially adopted Korean children to Korean children adopted by Korean families and discovered that both children would adapt to their culture when they had a greater exposure to it.

Lee, Erika. “The Chinese Exclusion Example: Race, Immigration, and American Gatekeeping, 1882-1924.” Journal of American Ethnic History, vol. 21, no. 3, 2002, pp. 36–62. JSTOR, Accessed 27 Apr. 2023.

The journal article written by Erika Lee called “The Chinese Exclusion Example: Race, Immigration, and American Gatekeeping, 1882-1924”, examines the history of immigration law and policies in the United States with the introduction of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Lee discusses the experiences of Chinese and other immigrant groups as they struggle to assimilate into American society. The act was specifically targeted at Chinese immigrants, but later affected many races and nationalities due to the restricted immigration imposed by the law. Furthermore, Lee’s article introduces how this act allowed the creation of prohibiting other races from entering the United States. This would create the current legal system in America, requiring immigrants to obtain a “green card” to obtain certification of residence.

Liu, Ken. “The Paper Menagerie.” THE MAGAZINE OF FANTASY & SCIENCE FICTION, 2011, pp. 64–76.

Author Ken Liu’s short story The Paper Menagerie, originally debuting in issue #694 of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, tells the story of Jack, a half-Chinese boy as he grows up in Connecticut. Rooted in the traditions of his mother’s Chinese heritage, Jack slowly begins to resent this facet of his life, while his mother works on trying to reconnect with animated origami animals.

Mackowiak, Maria Luísa. Uma Leitura Tradutória do Conto “The Paper Menagerie”, de Ken Liu, para o Português Brasileiro [A Translating Reading of the Short Story “The Paper Menagerie”, by Ken Liu, in Brazilian Portuguese]. 2022. Dissertação (Mestrado em Letras) – Universidade Tecnológica Federal do Paraná, Pato Branco, 2022.

This article written by Maria Luísa Mackowiak is both a New Criticism viewpoint of Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie, while also a step by step process of what it has taken to translate Liu’s story from English to Portugal Portuguese to Brazilian Portuguese. In the process of translation, this has opened a different perspective for how to read the text without the assumptions offered by familiarity with the English language.

McConnell, Theodore A. “The Course to Adulthood.” Journal of Religion and Health, vol. 5, no. 3, 1966, pp. 239–51. JSTOR, Accessed 27 Apr.2023.

In “The Course to Adulthood”, Theodore A. McConnell discusses the stages of the Psychological Development theory by Erik Erikson. McConnell explores the eight stages and how they develop a person’s personality.  These eight stages that emerge from infancy to elderly age consist of: trust versus mistrust, autonomy versus shame and doubt, initiative versus guilt, industry versus inferiority, identity versus role confusion, intimacy versus isolation, generativity versus stagnation, and ego integrity versus despair. In each stage, there is a recognizable conflict that is encountered between one’s psychological needs and that of the surrounding social environment. In solving each of these connected conflicts, an individual is rewarded with basic human virtues and is better prepared for challenges later in life. On the other hand, failure to recognize and solve these conflicts have led to difficulties in navigating the future for an individual. This can also have an impact on one’s sense of self and personality.

Meredith, Anne. “China’s Qingming Festival, Explained.” CLI, 1 Apr. 2022,

Anne Meredith’s article offers insight to a holiday mentioned in Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie. Using the traditions of the Qingming holiday, it can provide insight into the culture and traditions of both the protagonist, Jack, and his mother in Liu’s short story.

Parry, Jonathan. Man, vol. 16, no. 2, 1981, pp. 317–18. JSTOR, Accessed 16 Dec. 2022.

Jonathan Parry looks at Women, Androgynes and Other Mythical Beasts. by Wendy Doniger O’Flaherty, which is an examination of Hindu mythology and the various hierarchies within it. He shortens it down to its key elements in his review, which is how O’Flaherty views the women within Hindu mythology to be demonised for doing the same things the men do, but get praised for. An example of this idea is “while ‘the breast that feeds itself’ is symbolic of the evil mother, the phallus that retains its own seed is symbolic of the perfect man conserving his life-blood.” He gets straight to the heart of O’Flaherty’s work with the line “The central theme of the book is introduced by a discussion of sexual fluids.” He criticizes her for not looking at the mythology from a Hindu perspective, but from her culture as a white woman, and for imposing the structure of Hindu mythology on to modern day Hindu family structures. Jonathan Parry is a philosopher based in The London School of Economics and Political Science, specifically in the Department of Philosophy, Logic, and Scientific Method.

Prendergast, Finola. “”The Paper Menagerie Theme Wheel”.” Symbolism Thesis. 2022. Web Document.

By boxing up his paper animals, Jack is figuratively “boxing up” his Chinese heritage to assimilate into American culture.

Sample, Ian. “US Scientists Boycott NASA Conference over China Ban.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 5 Oct. 2013,

“Nasa is facing an extraordinary backlash from US researchers after it emerged that the space agency has banned Chinese scientists, including those working at US institutions, from a conference on grounds of national security.”

Song, Han. “Chinese Science Fiction: A Response to Modernization.” Science Fiction Studies, vol. 40, no. 1, 2013, pp. 15–21. JSTOR, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Han Song’s “Chinese Science Fiction: A Response to Modernization” provides a detailed list of influential science fiction authors in China. Song himself is a Chinese science fiction author and journalist. His article provides a brief history of the genre from its first appearance in China in the 19th century to its unique position in the country today, where it is gaining international popularity as entertainment while attracting the threat of censorship from the government. At the heart of Song’s article is the paradox of the Chinese science fiction writer: an artist dreaming up scenes of technology and the future in the midst of a culture that values traditionalism. He jumps back and forth in the chronology of Chinese sf to include the contributions of different demographics and perspectives (ranging from a section on female writers to a section on “alien affairs” (18). Song’s article is valuable for research on science fiction, Chinese literary culture, and modernization.

THE PAPER MENAGERIE Live Interview with Ken Liu. YouTube, YouTube, 11 Sept. 2022, Accessed 14 Dec. 2022.

Ken Liu is interviewed by two members of the Subtle Asian Book Club. They discuss his short story anthology The Paper Menagerie, And Other Stories. “I tend to not think about genres specifically. What tends to drive me to write a story is usually a metaphor that we speak about” [04:00-) 04:12]

Winslow, Kristie. “Subject Guides: The Monomyth (The Hero’s Journey): The Hero’s Journey.” The Hero’s Journey – The Monomyth (The Hero’s Journey) – Subject Guides At, Grand Valley State University, 23 Aug. 2022.

Kristie Winslow’s work in breaking down the concept of the Hero’s Journey from Joseph Campbell’s The Hero of a Thousand Faces, acts as a backbone in understanding the inherent structure of Ken Liu’s The Paper Menagerie, allowing the piece to be compared to the “world’s oldest story” for the ease of understanding.

“Yearbook of Immigration Statistics 2011.” Yearbook 2011 | Homeland Security,

A publication published by Homeland Security with statistics for who moved to the United States in 2011, broken down by county of origin and type of visa requested.


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Beginnings and Endings: A Critical Edition Copyright © 2021 by Liza Long is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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