I have often thought of this book as being grounded in and inspired by
women who, in their lives, imaginations, and representations, were vari-
able, boundless, and transformative. And similarly, as I reflect now upon
both process and product, I am reminded of those whose varied and exten-
sive e√orts have transformed this project.
Ken Wissoker has been an ideal editor and collaborator. Through multi-
ple years and in many locations he had the foresight to see my book not for
what it was but always for what it could be, and I am truly grateful for his
guidance, dedication, and friendship. I also thank Leigh Barnwell; Christine
Dahlin; the board and sta√ of Duke University Press; the copyeditor Law-
rence Kenney, who provided meticulous suggestions on my prose; and Mar-
ilyn Bliss for a thoughtful index.
Martin Manalansan and Allan Punzalan Isaac o√ered pivotal advice that
had dramatic e√ects on the shape of this book, from the overall contours of
its argument to its minute details. Without question, their generosity and
insight have been critical. An initial group of readers helped me envision
this project even in its earliest stages. I thank King-Kok Cheung for her
unflagging optimism and enthusiasm, and Richard Yarborough for his wis-
dom, honesty, and care. Both have taught me much about what it means to
be a mentor and teacher. As I navigated through many transitions, their
support, along with that of Jinqi Ling and Michael Salman, has been both
unequivocal and incredible.
The research for and writing of this book were made possible by generous
funding from the Ford Foundation Predoctoral, Dissertation, and Postdoc-