When your mother tongue is not your mother’s, you grow up with an echo. In our house, English was the official language, the language of information transfer. Cantonese, my parents’ first language, was the language of emotion and of secrets. … Continue reading
Tag Archives: memoir
I wrote a novel for twelve year olds that features bicycles. The novel is set in China in 1902, when the bicycle was a fairly new technology. Many key features of the modern bicycle were present in the 1902 bicycle. … Continue reading
In the 80s, in June, when I was in graduate school, a friend called me up and asked if I wanted to make an impromptu trip from Berkeley, California to Vancouver, BC. He wanted to drive up and see his … Continue reading
Once, I had a difficult plane flight from Frankfurt to Nairobi. I’d purchased my ticket from Bulgarian Airlines about 30 hours before departure, at the height of the summer travel season. The plane stopped in Sofia, where I was told … Continue reading
I despise the past, my own and everyone else’s. I despise resignation, patience, heroism and all the obligatory sentiments. This is a favorite quote from the Belgian surrealist painter René Magritte. As the author of a novel set in the … Continue reading
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It’s time to come out of the closet. I love The Hobbit. I love it so much that I love the movie too. And while I usually agree with articles that deplore the absence of women in popular media and … Continue reading
I started playing the alto saxophone when I was eleven. I chose the alto because a boy I liked picked the tenor, and I didn’t want to seem like I was copying him. I changed schools the following year, grade … Continue reading
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When I was a kid, four food groups competed in our house. Each group viewed the others with suspicion and claimed itself superior. My two grandmothers, and my mother, each stood like a pillar for a variant of Chinese food. … Continue reading