How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional America: Charles Yu’s Immigrant Utopianism
Huang examines Charles Yu’s use of the time travel narrative and the immigrant narrative in his debut novel How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe (2010) to critically reimagine American utopianism. Yu deploys the device of a time machine to map, over time, the marginal and invisible spaces to which immigrants are all too often consigned. The quest reveals the crippling melancholy that undergirds one of the most powerful romances of American utopianism: the American Dream. The novel sheds light on how that melancholy ironically fuels immigrant attachments to the Dream and how that attachment can be severed without sacrificing a life-sustaining utopian outlook.
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