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First Year Reads: Grace Talusan

Welcome to First-Year Reads!  This year we are incredibly honored to welcome memoirist and non-fiction writer, Grace Talusan to JWU. A Pilipino native and teacher of writing at Tufts University and Grub Street in Boston, Talusan recently won the 2017 Restless Books Prize for New Immigrant Writing for Nonfiction for her new book, “The Body Papers.”

Talusan completed her undergraduate work at Tufts University, where she currently teaches writing, and her MFA at the University of California - Irvine.  Her research interests include Fiction, Narrative Non-Fiction, Expository Writing, and Asian American Studies.​

        Looking for the First-Year Reads links?  

        My Father's Noose, by Grace Talusan

        Alien Hand, by Grace Talusan

​        The Thing is, I'm Undocumented, by Grace Talusan

        How to Cross the Street in Manilla, by Grace Talusan

         For more information, explore Grace Talusan's other writings, via her portfolio.


The following articles explore themes addressed in Grace Talusan's piece, How to Cross the Street in ManillaFor more information, contact Sarah Naomi Campbell, librarian at Downcity at or via our Ask a Librarian chat service on the library's homepage.

4/24/15 – Victoria, Tarlac; Philippines: Grace Acela Gamalinda Talusan looks out the window of her family home in Victoria, Tarlac Province on March 28, 2015. (Photo by Alonso Nichols)

Photo 4/25/15 Victoria, Tarlac; PhillippinesL Gracve Acela Gamalinda Talusan looks out the window of her family home in Victoria, Tarlac Province on March 28, 2015.  (Photo by Alonso Nichols)

4/24/15 – Victoria, Tarlac; Philippines: Grace Acela Gamalinda Talusan looks out the window of her family home in Victoria, Tarlac Province on March 28, 2015. (Photo by Alonso Nichols)

WEI-JUE, HUANG, et al. "Diaspora Tourism and Homeland Attachment: An Exploratory Analysis." Tourism Analysis, vol. 18, no. 3, May 2013, pp. 285-296. EBSCOhost, doi:10.3727/108354213X13673398610691.

Abstract: Diaspora tourism refers to the travel of people in diaspora to their ancestral homelands in search of their roots or to feel connected to their personal heritage. Whereas most tourists become attached to a destination after repeat visits, the tourist-destination relation in diaspora tourism is unique because tourists with immigrant origins often feel connected to the people, culture, and heritage of the destination before actually visiting the place. This study explores the relationship between second-generation immigrants' attachment to their ancestral homeland and their journey back "home," focusing on whether or not the second generation could feel at home in their parents' country of origin versus their current country of residence.

Miller, Matthew J., et al. "Racial and Cultural Factors Affecting the Mental Health of Asian Americans." American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, vol. 81, no. 4, Oct. 2011, pp. 489-497. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/j.1939-0025.2011.01118.x.

Abstract In this study, we employed structural equation modeling to test the degree to which racism-related stress, acculturative stress, and bicultural self-efficacy were predictive of mental health in a predominantly community-based sample of 367 Asian American adults. We also tested whether bicultural self-efficacy moderated the relationship between acculturative stress and mental health. Finally, we examined whether generational status moderated the impact of racial and cultural predictors of mental health by testing our model across immigrant and U.S.-born samples. Results indicated that our hypothesized structural model represented a good fit to the total sample data. While racism-related stress, acculturative stress, and bicultural self-efficacy were significant predictors of mental health in the total sample analyses, our generational analyses revealed a differential predictive pattern across generational status. Finally, we found that the buffering effect of bicultural self-efficacy on the relationship between acculturative stress and mental health was significant for U.S.-born individuals only. Implications for research and service delivery are explored.

Park, So-Youn, et al. "The Impact of Acculturation and Acculturative Stress on Alcohol Use across Asian Immigrant Subgroups." Substance Use & Misuse, vol. 49, no. 8, July 2014, pp. 922-931. EBSCOhost,

Abstract: Acculturation and acculturative stress are examined as predictors of alcohol use among Asian immigrants, using the 2004 National Latino and Asian Americans Survey (NLAAS). Separate regression analyses were conducted for Chinese ( n = 600), Filipino ( n = 508), and Vietnamese ( n = 520) immigrants. Alcohol use varied for the three groups. English proficiency was associated with drinking for all groups. Family conflict was associated with drinking for Chinese immigrants. General acculturative stress and discrimination were associated with drinking for Vietnamese immigrants. Results underscore acculturation and acculturative stress as being contributors to alcohol consumption, and the importance of considering the heterogeneity of Asian immigrants in research on their alcohol use.


The following articles explore themes addressed in Grace Talusan's piece, The Thing Is, I'm Undocumented. For more information, contact Sarah Naomi Campbell, librarian at Downcity at or via our Ask a Librarian chat service on the library's homepage.

Crawford, Emily R. and Fernando Valle. "Educational Justice for Undocumented Students: How School Counselors Encourage Student Persistence in Schools." Education Policy Analysis Archives, vol. 24, no. 98, 03 Oct. 2016. EBSCOhost,

Abstract: School counselors are critical intermediaries in K-12 schools who can help students from undocumented immigrant families persist in school. Yet, a dearth of research exists about their advocacy work, or the range of efforts they make to support unauthorized youth. This paper asks, (1) what challenges do counselors face and strive to overcome to promote undocumented students' persistence in school?; and (2) what strategies do counselors use to encourage students to persist? Data come from an embedded case study with seven school counselors and a family intervention specialist in two Texas school districts on the U.S.-Mexico border. The findings revealed that two of participants' biggest challenges in terms of student persistence--and their strategies to help--related to complexities arising from students commuting across the border to school and students' transient living situations. Despite participants networking on behalf of students and families, forming partnerships and seeking services for students and families, counselors recognized limits to their efforts. Policies impeded their assistance, and events that were out of their control inhibited them from potentially acting as empowering agents for students in critical ways. While counselors can develop strong, trusting school-student partnerships to encourage student persistence, more research must explore how school leaders can act as empowerment agents and build capacity to serve newly arrived or undocumented families.

Serna, Gabriel R., et al. "State and Institutional Policies on In-State Resident Tuition and Financial Aid for Undocumented Students: Examining Constraints and Opportunities." Education Policy Analysis Archives, vol. 25, no. 18, 27 Feb. 2017. EBSCOhost,

Abstract: In this article, we examine policies related to in-state resident tuition and state financial aid policies aimed at undocumented students. To help frame the discussion and spark further debate and research in this area the article seeks to do three things. First, it provides a comprehensive review of state and institutional in-state tuition policies aimed at undocumented students as well as state college or university system responses. Second, it charts the policy landscape for state financial aid access for this population. Third, it examines the numerous implications that such policies engender and highlights the role of the federal government and the proposed Dream Act in mitigating some of these concerns. It closes by underscoring the important financial role played by the critical interaction of state, institutional, and federal policies in making college going a reality for these students while proposing avenues for future study around the issue.

Hsin, Amy and Francesc Ortega. "The Effects of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals on the Educational Outcomes of Undocumented Students." Demography, vol. 55, no. 4, Aug. 2018, pp. 1487-1506. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s13524-018-0691-6.

Abstract: Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is the first large-scale immigration policy to affect undocumented immigrants in the United States in decades and offers eligible undocumented youth temporary relief from deportation as well as renewable work permits. Although DACA has improved the economic conditions and mental health of undocumented immigrants, we do not know how DACA improves the social mobility of undocumented immigrants through its effect on educational attainment. We use administrative data on students attending a large public university to estimate the effect of DACA on undocumented students’ educational outcomes. The data are unique because they accurately identify students’ legal status, account for individual heterogeneity, and allow separate analysis of students attending community colleges versus four-year colleges. Results from difference-in-difference estimates demonstrate that as a temporary work permit program, DACA incentivizes work over educational investments but that the effect of DACA on educational investments depends on how easily colleges accommodate working students. At four-year colleges, DACA induces undocumented students to make binary choices between attending school full-time and dropping out of school to work. At community colleges, undocumented students have the flexibility to reduce course work to accommodate increased work hours. Overall, the results suggest that the precarious and temporary nature of DACA creates barriers to educational investments.



Tip: To view the part of the video featuring Grace Talusan, begin at 18:35.

The following articles explore themes addressed in Grace Talusan's piece, My Father's Noose.  For more information, contact Sarah Naomi Campbell, librarian at Downcity at or via our Ask a Librarian chat service on the library's homepage.

Fréchette, Sabrina, et al. "What Is the Link between Corporal Punishment and Child Physical Abuse?." Journal of Family Violence, vol. 30, no. 2, Feb. 2015, pp. 135-148. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1007/s10896-014-9663-9. 

Abstract This study aimed to contribute to the literature on corporal punishment by examining the link between spanking and child physical abuse. First, we examined the extent to which individuals who experienced spanking in childhood were at greater risk of also experiencing physical abuse by their parents. Second, we examined various parenting and family factors that could distinguish between spanking that occurred within and without a physically abusive context. A sample of 370 university students completed a questionnaire on disciplinary experiences at age 10. Results suggested that individuals who indicated having experienced spanking during childhood were at greater risk of also having experienced physical abuse. Among individuals who indicated having experienced spanking, greater spanking frequency, perceptions of impulsiveness in parental discipline, and reports of physical violence between parents significantly increased the risk of physical abuse. This research contributes to the growing evidence on the risks associated with child corporal punishment.

Gershoff, Elizabeth T. and Andrew Grogan-Kaylor. "Spanking and Child Outcomes: Old Controversies and New Meta-Analyses." Journal of Family Psychology, vol. 30, no. 4, June 2016, pp. 453-469. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1037/fam0000191.

Abstract Whether spanking is helpful or harmful to children continues to be the source of considerable debate among both researchers and the public. This article addresses 2 persistent issues, namely whether effect sizes for spanking are distinct from those for physical abuse, and whether effect sizes for spanking are robust to study design differences. Meta-analyses focused specifically on spanking were conducted on a total of 111 unique effect sizes representing 160,927 children. Thirteen of 17 mean effect sizes were significantly different from zero and all indicated a link between spanking and increased risk for detrimental child outcomes. Effect sizes did not substantially differ between spanking and physical abuse or by study design characteristics.

Ip, Patrick, et al. "Mental Health Consequences of Childhood Physical Abuse in Chinese Populations." Trauma, Violence & Abuse, vol. 17, no. 5, Dec. 2016, pp. 571-584. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1177/1524838015585317.

Abstract: Childhood physical abuse (CPA) can lead to adverse mental health outcomes in adulthood, but its potential impact on Chinese populations is still unclear. This meta-analysis is the first to examine the association between CPA and mental health outcomes in Chinese populations. The detrimental effects of CPA on mental health outcomes in Chinese populations were comparable to, if not more than, the West. Contrary to the Chinese belief that physical punishment is a safe way to discipline children, our findings highlight the potential harm to mental health and the need to change this parenting practice.

The following articles explore themes addressed in Grace Talusan's piece, Alien Hand.  For more information, contact Sarah Naomi Campbell, librarian at Downcity at or via our Ask a Librarian chat service on the library's homepage.

Roberts, Kim P., et al. "Challenges Facing East Asian Immigrant Children in Sexual Abuse Cases." Canadian Psychology, vol. 57, no. 4, Nov. 2016, pp. 300-307. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1037/cap0000066.

AbstractIn this article, we outline the ways in which East Asian children, compared with Western nonimmigrant children, are at a particular disadvantage when considering prosecution of those who perpetrate abuse. We focus specifically on 3 areas of concern: (1) cultural differences that can shape children's memory recall, (2) cultural differences that can impact the path of disclosure of sexual abuse, and (3) language differences that reduce the chances that perpetrators will be prosecuted for sexual abuse. The consequences for East Asian immigrant youth who allege (or are suspected) that they are victims of abuse are serious. East Asian children face an uphill battle to see justice in sexual abuse cases. Thus, a significant portion of immigrant children will not see their abusers punished, and, worse, the knowledge that prosecution is unlikely may make East Asian immigrant children vulnerable.

Kanukollu, Shanta N. and Ramaswami Mahalingam. "The Idealized Cultural Identities Model on Help-Seeking and Child Sexual Abuse: A Conceptual Model for Contextualizing Perceptions and Experiences of South Asian Americans." Journal of Child Sexual Abuse, vol. 20, no. 2, Mar/Apr2011, pp. 218-243. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/10538712.2011.556571.

Abstract: In this paper, we propose an interdisciplinary framework to study perceptions of child sexual abuse and help-seeking among South Asians living in the United States. We integrate research on social marginality, intersectionality, and cultural psychology to understand how marginalized social experience accentuates South Asian immigrants' desire to construct a positive self-identity. Using model minority ideology as an example of such a construction, we highlight its role in silencing the topic of child sexual abuse within this immigrant community as well as its impact on attitudes towards professional mental health services. We contend that our framework, the idealized cultural identities model on help-seeking and child sexual abuse, provides a unique analytical model for clinicians and researchers to understand how South Asian Americans process, experience, and react to child sexual abuse.

Dasgupta, Shamita Das. Body Evidence : Intimate Violence against South Asian Women in America. Rutgers University Press, 2007. EBSCOhost,

Abstract: When South Asians immigrated to the United States in great numbers in the 1970s, they were passionately driven to achieve economic stability and socialize the next generation to retain the traditions of their home culture. During these years, the immigrant community went to great lengths to project an impeccable public image by denying the existence of social problems such as domestic violence, sexual assault, child sexual abuse, mental illness, racism, and intergenerational conflict. It was not until recently that activist groups have worked to bring these issues out into the open.In Body Evidence, more than twenty scholars and public health professionals uncover the unique challenges faced by victims of violence in intimate spaces... within families, communities and trusted relationships in South Asian American communities. Topics include cultural obsession with women's chastity and virginity; the continued silence surrounding intimate violence among women who identify themselves as lesbian, bisexual, or transgender; the consequences of refusing marriage proposals or failing to meet dowry demands; and, ultimately, the ways in which the United States courts often confuse and exacerbate the plights of these women.