Category: Chinese-American

  • The Language of Blood

    Few authors venture to write in a language that is not their mother tongue.  It’s hard enough to write. Why make it any more difficult by adapting a new vocabulary, grammar and syntax? Some might even call it a betrayal of country, home, blood. the chinese typewriter My grandfather wrote in English. Born and bred…

  • Pig Knuckle Soup

    My mother believes in soup. Whenever I was too sick to go to school, she would start a pot bubbling. I remember the reek of blood leaching out of bones. The suds that rise to the surface of the boiling water and the yellow pools of fat hiding below. When my mother wasn’t looking, I…

  • The Good Immigrant

    All across the country, people felt it was the wrong thing. All across the country, people felt it was the right thing. All across the country, people felt they’d really won. All across the country, people felt they’d done the right thing and other people had done the wrong thing.” This quote comes from Ali…

  • Through the Looking Glass: An Asian-American Identity

    Reading is a search for identity. We look for ourselves between the pages and sometimes we get lucky. For me, the first time was Woman Warrior by Maxine Hong Kingston. It’s a mixture of memoir, Chinese myth and family tales of life in and outside of China. She called her style of writing talk-story: reminiscing about…

  • Christmas Chinese-American Style

    Christmas in Los Angeles is a contradiction in terms. The plastic icicles taped to the roof. The electrified snowman set among the cacti. But Christmas Chinese-American style takes weirdness to a whole new level. Not that my family was strange. We were like others at Christmas, Chinese-American or not. For Christmas Eve, we invited all the relatives,…

  • Welcome to Shanghai

      Shanghai: Now Shanghai today is a sprawling metropolis with a population estimated for 2017 to be over 24.1 million. It could very well be China’s largest city. But that’s not why it’s important to me. My father was born and raised there. It was the site of many, although not all, of the stories he told me.…