For Powells, Chang-rae Lee discusses his picaresque novel, My Year Abroad, with Rhianna Walton, and how he finds himself drawn to characters that are outside of the mainstream. “It’s so hard, especially with characters like Pong,” he says. “He’s not a mainstream character that people know about. This has always been my frustration and challenge. Actually, it’s shaped me as a writer, to try to give enough context for things I just assume people will not understand, or appreciate fully, without me giving extra context. But every book I write is, I think, in some ways an immigrant novel, because it’s always about being in places and situations where you find yourself unsettled or unmoored. At the most basic level, My Year Abroad is that.”
The New York Times profiles our best tool in combating asinine email forwards: snopes.com. Use it liberally against all who forward you nonsense masquerading as “news.”
Essay Liu‘s essay “Seven Days After Father” has been translated by Kevin T. S. Tang for Blunderbuss Magazine and presents a daughter’s sincere grief confused by custom. “‘The funeral director forbids tears as we approach your coffin, but demands that we weep on our return. This is the movie script we’ve been handed, one we’ll be beholden to for days, and I know that many things are not mine to decide anymore. Even our tears have been planned for us.”
Recommended Listening: Ursula K. Le Guin talks with host David Naimon about her classic book Steering the Craft and argues that issues of class, race, gender, and morality cannot be separate from grammar. Pair with Paul Morton’s Millions interview with the author.