Date of Graduation

Fall 12-16-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts in Writing (MFAW)


College of Arts and Sciences


Creative Writing

First Advisor

Susan Steinberg


As an upmarket novel exploring immigration and racial dynamics, Queen Academy lies at the intersection of Kathryn Ma’s The Chinese Groove, Timothy Wang’s Slant, and Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye in style and subject. The protagonist Kang comes to the US from China to study statistics, but finds himself becoming a “potato queen”—an Asian gay man interested in dating white men only—and locked in self-loathing. It will take a heartbreak and treading the line of illegality to see himself again. Overall, by engaging with themes of immigration, belonging, and racialized desire, the novel takes the stance that the first step toward equality is to acknowledge the truth in its entirety: the marginalized not only resent the dominant but also desire them. In the novel, the protagonist’s acknowledgment of this is the first step of his liberation.