Generations

When Chickens Hatch

Helen Young Chang on remembered racism, both explicit and subtle, and what her parents brought from Taiwan to Southern California.

Apr 22, 2021
My Ancestors’ Mission to Lighten Our Bloodline Ends With Me

My kin may have erased themselves, but I won’t erase them. Just as I may be their wildest dreams, they are also mine.

Apr 08, 2021
I Tried to Buy Self-Worth and All I Got Was Credit Card Debt

I dug my hole trying to keep up with a social calendar I couldn’t afford, which is often what happens when you feel like you don’t belong on the social calendar to begin with.

Jan 28, 2021
Reconnecting With My Grandad’s Heritage As He Began to Forget It

My connections to the country and its people, my family, didn’t require control or even words. Touch, color, and togetherness were enough.

Seedlings, or What Has Been Passed On

Just like plants, we inherit some traits from those who came before us, but when I spend time with my siblings I’m amazed by how different we are.

Sep 01, 2020
What Bruce Lee’s Films Taught Me About Writing My Mother’s Voice

I know by worrying about a room of mostly white readers I undermine myself, but it’s become instinct. And, honestly, I just get tired.

Aug 12, 2020
A Family on the Border, of the Border

I see a wall as tantamount to rejection: to create a physical barrier is to reject the possibility of familiarity.

Apr 01, 2020
What Tarot Taught Me About the Stories We Tell

I’ve read that trauma disrupts time. That violent events are recorded differently in the brain.

Mar 25, 2020
Mourning My Dad and the Dog He Never Wanted

If I could save her, I would. I needed to feel that it was in my power to save her, to save something. I didn’t need her to be uncomplicated. I didn’t need a good dog. I needed her.

Feb 11, 2020
What I Found When I Searched for My Long-Lost Sister

This was not the information I was looking for. This was not the truth I wanted.

Nov 20, 2019
What We Imagine When Women Run Away

As a young girl, running away is considered a flight of fancy. As a grown woman, people think it’s just flight.

Nov 19, 2019
Meeting My Third Family

Briefly, I was part of that mysterious organism, a biological family; no one cared about my virtues or my bad behavior.

Oct 08, 2019
One Sister Sees X, the Other Sees Y

There are times I envy art’s effectiveness in a bilingual context, its ability to transcend language.

Oct 02, 2019
This Is About Smoking

I’m coming apart like the first cigarette I ever rolled. Loose, slobbering, and burning too fast.

Sep 04, 2019
Three Car Crashes and the Long Afterward

The story is no longer me and my vehicles but my mother and hers. We called it an accident, but it wasn’t.

Jul 22, 2019
For My Father, Every Time Is Wartime

A part of me, the part trained to put my father first, thought I should allow him into my home, regardless of his threats.

Jul 02, 2019
After My Mother Passed, My Father’s Consistency in Religion Was an Anchor

A new period in my life started when Abu could no longer fast for Ramadan.

Jun 24, 2019
The Summer I Became a Thief

Sometimes I thought of it as war reparations. On the outwardly civil but quietly vicious battlefield of my parents’ divorce, I had been the clear loser.

Apr 29, 2019
The Rhythms We Keep Since My Mother’s Stroke

The slight din of the television on TVLand from her room made its way toward the kitchen where Curtis and I sat, trying to figure out how this was all going to go. How everything had changed.

The Executioner

My father is obsessed with killing flies.

Apr 09, 2019