Feminist Practices in Julie Shigekuni’s Invisible Gardens: A Japanese American Woman in the Twenty-First Century


  • Ina C Seethaler Saint Louis University, USA


Asian American Literature, sexuality, gardening


This article analyzes how Julie Shigekuni’s (2004) novel Invisible Gardens offers a Japanese American feminist perspective on women’s lives. The feminist themes explored include patriarchal familial relationships, the significance of mental spaces of refuge—like a garden and other ‘beyond’ spaces—and the explicit celebration of the (sexual) body as a site of women’s empowerment.

Cet article analyse comment le roman Invisible Gardens (2004) de Julie Shigekuni offre une perspective nippo-américaine féministe sur la vie des femmes. Les thèmes féministes explorés comprennent les relations familiales patriarcales, l’importance des espaces de refuge mental —comme un jardin et autres espaces imaginaires—et la célébration explicite du corps (sexuel) comme lieu d’autonomisation des femmes.


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Author Biography

Ina C Seethaler, Saint Louis University, USA

Ina C. Seethaler holds a Ph.D. in English with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies from Saint Louis University. Her main research interests include gender and migration, Asian American literature, and feminist pedagogy. She is currently working on a book manuscript on immigrant women’s life writing as a human rights tool. Dr. Seethaler is Assistant Professor and Director of Women’s and Gender Studies at Coastal Carolina University. 


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