Image courtesy of Giramondo Publishing
y Look Who's Morphing selected work   short story  
Issue Details: First known date: 2009 2009
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Look Who's Morphing is a collection of bizarre, funny, often menacing stories in which, along with his extended family, the central character undergoes a series of transformations, shape-shifting through figures drawn from film and television, music clips and video games, porn flicks and comics. He is Godzilla, a Muppet, and Whitney Houston's bodyguard; the Fonz, a robot, a Ford Bronco 4x4 - and, as a climax, a Gulliver-sized cock rock singer, played upon by an adoring troupe of sexy Lilliputians in short skirts and sailor suits and cheerleader outfits. Within these fantasies there is a deep intellectual and emotional engagement, a fundamental questioning of the nature of identity, and the way it constructs itself in a world dominated by the images of popular culture. – From the publisher's website.

Notes

  • Dedication: This book is dedicated to the memory of my father
  • Other formats: Also available as an electronic resource

Contents

* Contents derived from the Artarmon, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Giramondo Publishing , 2009 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Dirty Dancing, Natasha Cho , 2004 single work short story (p. 3-6)
Suitmation, Natasha Cho , 2002 single work short story (p. 11-14)
The Exorcist, Natasha Cho , 2004 single work short story humour horror fantasy
The narrator's Auntie Wei starts acting strangely when she dons a novelty apron that has built-in plastic breasts. At first the narrator thinks the behaviour results from drunkenness, but it soon becomes clear that the breast apron has caused Auntie Wei to be possessed by a demon.
(p. 17-22)
Dinner With My Brother, Natasha Cho , 2004-2005 single work short story humour
The narrator and his brother discuss their Chinese names, their meanings, and the names that they feel would more adequately describe them.
(p. 25-27)
Dinner with My Grandmother, Tom Cho , 2006 single work short story
The narrator goes for dinner at his Chinese grandmother's house. After lemon chicken and brandy and cigars, they engage in a Cantonese lesson.
(p. 31-34)
Dinner with Auntie Wei and Uncle Wang, Tom Cho , 2006 single work short story humour fantasy
Tom goes to his aunt and uncle's house for dinner. After dinner, his Uncle Wang, who has been a volunteer in 'neural interfacing research' at a university, starts speaking in the computer programming language C++. Tom has a background in IT, and so attempts to fix his uncle.
Dinner with Auntie Ling and Uncle Wang
(p. 37-40)
Note: With title: Dinner with Auntie Ling and Uncle Wang
The Sound of Music, Tom Cho , 2006 single work short story fantasy humour
In a story that strongly references the film The Sound of Music, the narrator is in training to be a nun, but is sent away to care for the children of a Captain von Trapp. The narrator appears to be Tom, the same narrator of the previous stories in Look Who's Morphing. Tom and Captain von Trapp are soon 'having sex and falling in love,' but as the relationship progresses, Tom finds that he is losing his identity and becoming very much like the Captain, even dressing and speaking like him. Wondering 'how do you solve a problem like co-dependency?', Tom returns to the abbey to ask the Mother Superior's advice. The Mother Superior and Tom each share fantasies about The Fonz from the television show Happy Days. Then, following the Mother Superior's advice, Tom decides to go to Switzerland to try to live like Captain von Trapp.
(p. 43-49)
Learning English, Tom Cho , 2003 single work short story
A surreal account of learning English through lessons and television viewing.
(p. 53-55)
Today on Dr Phil, Tom Cho , 2006 single work short story (p. 59-64)
Chinese Whispers, Natasha Cho , 2002 single work short story (p. 67-73)
A Counting Rhyme, Natasha Cho , 2002 single work short story (p. 77-78)
The Bodyguard, Tom Cho , 2007 single work short story (p. 81-89)
AIYO! An Evil Group of Ninjas is Entering and Destroying a Call Centre!!!, Tom Cho , 2007 single work short story humour fantasy (p. 93-95)
I, Robot, Tom Cho , 2009 single work short story science fiction
The narrator decides to follow his mother's example and sign up for a government program that converts low-income earners into robots. Scientists determine that he is best suited to becoming a protocol droid. The only problem is, he also becomes a protocol droid with an anxiety problem. On an assignment at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan, he follows 'in a tradition practised by many other robots and humans in history: that of seeming to go haywire, and then turning on one's masters and what they stand for.'
(p. 99-108)
My Life in China, Tom Cho , 2009 single work short story fantasy (p. 111-113)
Pinocchio, Tom Cho , 2007 single work short story
The narrator explains his year-long disappearance from his girlfriend's life by telling her that he has been unwillingly turned into a Muppet and subsequently spent twelve months appearing as a Muppet penguin on The Muppet Show. She doesn't believe him, and points out many holes in the logic of his story. What's more, she knows that he is lying because his nose has grown very long.
(p. 117-27)
Look Who's Morphing, Tom Cho , 2009 single work short story fantasy
Tom morphs into a giant reptile and terrorises the streets of Melbourne. Then he transforms quickly into a range of different people, including television characters such as Dr Quinn from the programme Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman, and one of the Village People. In fact, Tom and his brother have been morphing since they migrated to Australia from China, and the morphing is difficult for the family. Tom finds a solution in television viewing.
(p. 131-144)
Cock Rock, Tom Cho , 2009 single work short story fantasy (p. 147-178)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

Works about this Work

Looking Back at Tom Cho’s “Look Who’s Morphing” Manuela Zehnter , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Peril : An Asian-Australian Journal , June no. 24 2016;

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Michelle Dicinoski Interviews Tom Cho Michelle Dicinoski (interviewer), 2014 single work interview
— Appears in: Mascara Literary Review , May no. 15 2014;
‘This Story Does Not Begin on a Boat’ : What Is Australian about Asian Australian Writing? Wenche Ommundsen , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Continuum : Journal of Media & Cultural Studies , vol. 25 no. 4 2011; (p. 503–513)
'With reference to recent debates about the politics of representation, this paper argues that a profound ambivalence about identity, and particularly about Asian Australian identity, is a common characteristic of much recent Asian Australian literary writing. It also asks whether this is the characteristic that marks this writing as specifically Australian. Tracing cultural contexts from the 'pathologies' of Australian multicultural debates to other transnational literary traditions, the paper uses examples from the writing of Brian Castro, Alice Pung, Ouyang Yu, Nam Le, Shaun Tan, and Tom Cho to speculate on the emergence of a new and distinct phase of transnational writing in Australia.' (Author's abstract)
That Punishing Sense of Lack : Reading and Reviewing 'The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction' in Australia Alice Robinson , 2011-2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southpaw , no. 1 2011-2012; (p. 157-163)
The Asian Conspiracy : Deploying Voice/Deploying Story Merlinda Bobis , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October vol. 25 no. 3 2010; (p. 1-19)
'This essay develops on the premise of imagining, which is the heart of story-making: imagine the physicality of story. Imagine the deployment strategies, the covert 'translations' of difference' that facilitate the entry of the Other story through the gate.
And once inside, imagine how this Otherness is legitimised, packaged and consumed within the Australian nation.' (p. 3)
Becoming Tom Cho Alice Robinson , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs , April vol. 14 no. 1 2010;

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story

Robinson suggests that 'Cho's work reflects back the problematic nature of identity, particularly in response to migration. But the book also speaks of other kinds of transitions - adolescence, sexual awakening, shifting familial relationships, employment - and the questions they raise about who we are. Cho demonstrates that when uncertainty arises, sometimes meaning is made and identity formed through nothing more substantial than story: "I said that, according to various myths and popular stories, morphing is accomplished via touch … that was no problem because myths and popular stories were also on television" (138). This is social commentary, cultural critique, and rollicking adventure through pop culture.'

Ways of Reading Adam Gall , 2009 single work correspondence
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , July-August no. 313 2009; (p. 5)
Interview with Tom Cho Hoa Pham (interviewer), 2009 single work interview
— Appears in: Peril : An Asian-Australian Journal , May no. 7 2009;

Cho discusses the cover of Look Who's Morphing (which features a photograph of the author), the textual 'intrusions' of his presence in the stories, the influence of trends on the stories' pop culture references, and whether short story writing was experiencing a surge of popularity at the time of the interview.

Interview : Tom Cho 2009 single work interview
— Appears in: Verandah , no. 24 2009; (p. 39-42)
Tom Cho: A ‘Responsive’ Interview Literary Minded Tom Cho , Angela Meyer (interviewer), 2009 interview
— Appears in: Crikey , 18 June 2009;

In this 'interview,' Cho responds to diverse prompts and discusses topics including the writing process, mixing signals, and gender.

Surreal Search for an Identity David Messer , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 23-24 May 2009; (p. 31)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Haiku-Like Restraint Adam Rivett , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June no. 312 2009; (p. 44-45)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story ; Why She Loves Him : Stories Wendy James 2009 selected work short story
Surreal Journeys of a Morphing Gender Bender Eleanor Limprecht , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 21 June 2009; (p. 12)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Becoming What You Watch Louise Swinn , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 15 August 2009; (p. 27)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Manic Microcosms Catherine Ford , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , September vol. 4 no. 8 2009; (p. 21)

— Review of Why She Loves Him : Stories Wendy James 2009 selected work short story ; What Came Between Patrick Cullen 2009 selected work short story ; Little White Slips Karen Hitchcock 2009 selected work short story ; Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Cyril Wong Reviews Look Who's Morphing by Tom Cho Cyril Wong , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Mascara Literary Review , June no. 5 2009;

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story

In this review, Cyril Wong discusses the surrealism of Tom Cho's Look Who's Morphing, and what it might reveal about the author's subconscious. Wong suggests that 'Cho’s fantastical forays into the Twilight Zone of the diasporic-Chinese-queer-male mind tell us readers straightaway that his bizarre tales are, without a doubt, autobiographical, even confessional.'

Untitled Keri Glastonbury , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 197 2009; (p. 57-58)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Untitled Sky Harrison , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Wet Ink , December no. 17 2009; (p. 55-60)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
The Acid Tongue : Look Who's Critiquing Cyril Wong , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Quarterly Literary Review Singapore , July vol. 8 no. 3 2009;

— Review of Haiku-Like Restraint Adam Rivett 2009 single work review ; Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story

Wong examines some of the claims made by Adam Rivett in his review of Cho's book Look Who's Morphing.

Anthology: Look Who's Morphing By Tom Cho James Halford , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: M/C Reviews

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Surreal Search for an Identity David Messer , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 23-24 May 2009; (p. 31)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Haiku-Like Restraint Adam Rivett , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , June no. 312 2009; (p. 44-45)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story ; Why She Loves Him : Stories Wendy James 2009 selected work short story
Surreal Journeys of a Morphing Gender Bender Eleanor Limprecht , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sun-Herald , 21 June 2009; (p. 12)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Becoming What You Watch Louise Swinn , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 15 August 2009; (p. 27)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Manic Microcosms Catherine Ford , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Australian Literary Review , September vol. 4 no. 8 2009; (p. 21)

— Review of Why She Loves Him : Stories Wendy James 2009 selected work short story ; What Came Between Patrick Cullen 2009 selected work short story ; Little White Slips Karen Hitchcock 2009 selected work short story ; Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Cyril Wong Reviews Look Who's Morphing by Tom Cho Cyril Wong , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Mascara Literary Review , June no. 5 2009;

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story

In this review, Cyril Wong discusses the surrealism of Tom Cho's Look Who's Morphing, and what it might reveal about the author's subconscious. Wong suggests that 'Cho’s fantastical forays into the Twilight Zone of the diasporic-Chinese-queer-male mind tell us readers straightaway that his bizarre tales are, without a doubt, autobiographical, even confessional.'

Untitled Keri Glastonbury , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 197 2009; (p. 57-58)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Untitled Sky Harrison , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Wet Ink , December no. 17 2009; (p. 55-60)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Becoming Tom Cho Alice Robinson , 2010 single work review
— Appears in: TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs , April vol. 14 no. 1 2010;

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story

Robinson suggests that 'Cho's work reflects back the problematic nature of identity, particularly in response to migration. But the book also speaks of other kinds of transitions - adolescence, sexual awakening, shifting familial relationships, employment - and the questions they raise about who we are. Cho demonstrates that when uncertainty arises, sometimes meaning is made and identity formed through nothing more substantial than story: "I said that, according to various myths and popular stories, morphing is accomplished via touch … that was no problem because myths and popular stories were also on television" (138). This is social commentary, cultural critique, and rollicking adventure through pop culture.'

The Acid Tongue : Look Who's Critiquing Cyril Wong , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Quarterly Literary Review Singapore , July vol. 8 no. 3 2009;

— Review of Haiku-Like Restraint Adam Rivett 2009 single work review ; Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story

Wong examines some of the claims made by Adam Rivett in his review of Cho's book Look Who's Morphing.

Anthology: Look Who's Morphing By Tom Cho James Halford , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: M/C Reviews

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Look Who's Morphing : Popular Culture, Asian Identities and New Possibilities for Fiction Tom Cho , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: Crossings : Bulletin of the International Australian Studies Association , vol. 9 no. 3 2004;

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
'... [T]hrough some of the examples given in this paper, it is possible to see how the exploration of popular culture might provide writers with alternative approaches to exploring identity. Forms such as fan fiction can play with fluidity in fresh and fun ways. ' (The Author)
Australian Voices : Adam Aitken's Eighth Habitation and Tom Cho's Look Who's Morphing Eva Leung , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: Cha: An Asian Literary Journal , August no. 8 2009;

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Bookmarks 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 2 June 2009;

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Man of Metamorphosis Jay Daniel Thompson , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 13-14 June 2009; (p. 17)

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
[Untitled] Nick Bond , 2009 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Star Observer , 20 November 2009;

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Looking Back at Tom Cho’s “Look Who’s Morphing” Manuela Zehnter , 2016 single work review
— Appears in: Peril : An Asian-Australian Journal , June no. 24 2016;

— Review of Look Who's Morphing Tom Cho 2009 selected work short story
Ways of Reading Adam Gall , 2009 single work correspondence
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , July-August no. 313 2009; (p. 5)
Interview with Tom Cho Hoa Pham (interviewer), 2009 single work interview
— Appears in: Peril : An Asian-Australian Journal , May no. 7 2009;

Cho discusses the cover of Look Who's Morphing (which features a photograph of the author), the textual 'intrusions' of his presence in the stories, the influence of trends on the stories' pop culture references, and whether short story writing was experiencing a surge of popularity at the time of the interview.

The Asian Conspiracy : Deploying Voice/Deploying Story Merlinda Bobis , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Literary Studies , October vol. 25 no. 3 2010; (p. 1-19)
'This essay develops on the premise of imagining, which is the heart of story-making: imagine the physicality of story. Imagine the deployment strategies, the covert 'translations' of difference' that facilitate the entry of the Other story through the gate.
And once inside, imagine how this Otherness is legitimised, packaged and consumed within the Australian nation.' (p. 3)
Interview : Tom Cho 2009 single work interview
— Appears in: Verandah , no. 24 2009; (p. 39-42)
‘This Story Does Not Begin on a Boat’ : What Is Australian about Asian Australian Writing? Wenche Ommundsen , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Continuum : Journal of Media & Cultural Studies , vol. 25 no. 4 2011; (p. 503–513)
'With reference to recent debates about the politics of representation, this paper argues that a profound ambivalence about identity, and particularly about Asian Australian identity, is a common characteristic of much recent Asian Australian literary writing. It also asks whether this is the characteristic that marks this writing as specifically Australian. Tracing cultural contexts from the 'pathologies' of Australian multicultural debates to other transnational literary traditions, the paper uses examples from the writing of Brian Castro, Alice Pung, Ouyang Yu, Nam Le, Shaun Tan, and Tom Cho to speculate on the emergence of a new and distinct phase of transnational writing in Australia.' (Author's abstract)
That Punishing Sense of Lack : Reading and Reviewing 'The Blaft Anthology of Tamil Pulp Fiction' in Australia Alice Robinson , 2011-2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Southpaw , no. 1 2011-2012; (p. 157-163)
Tom Cho: A ‘Responsive’ Interview Literary Minded Tom Cho , Angela Meyer (interviewer), 2009 interview
— Appears in: Crikey , 18 June 2009;

In this 'interview,' Cho responds to diverse prompts and discusses topics including the writing process, mixing signals, and gender.

Michelle Dicinoski Interviews Tom Cho Michelle Dicinoski (interviewer), 2014 single work interview
— Appears in: Mascara Literary Review , May no. 15 2014;
Last amended 29 May 2014 09:04:17
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