The Asian Mystique

Sheridan Prasso

A 400-plus page look at the way Western men — and history — have treated or regarded “Asian” women.
Prasso is really on to something when she attacks the stereotyping and the obsessions of Western men for “Asian” women. A newcomer to the subject, or to the region, will learn a lot, and others, I suspect, will find a lot that is already familiar.
I’ve put Asian in quotations because Asian womanhood is a totally artificial construct, and this gets back to one of the book’s problems. It is trying to lecture knowledgeably on the whole content, and this inevitably leads to a good deal of surface-skimming, and a good bit of repetition.
I also find it interesting that the cover bears an alluring picture of a geisha, one of the most fetishized images of “Asian” women around.

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