2018 international women's day.

  1. hye-young pyun, the hole (skyhorse, 2017)
  2. han yujoo, the impossible fairy tale (graywolf, 2017)
  3. patty yumi cottrell, sorry to disrupt the peace (mcsweeney's, 2017)
  4. samhita mukhopadhyay & kate harding, eds, nasty women (picador, 2017)
  5. shobha rao, girls burn brighter (flatiron, 2018)
  6. carmen maria machado, her body and other parties (graywolf, 2017)
  7. kim fu, for today i am a boy (HMH, 2014)
  8. jessica b. harris, my soul looks back (scribner, 2016)
  9. rowan hisayo buchanan, harmless like you (sceptre, 2017)
  10. ayobami adebayo, stay with me (knopf, 2017)
  11. jenny zhang, sour heart (lenny imprint, 2017)
  12. julie buntin, marlena (henry holt, 2017)
  13. molly yeh, molly on the range (rodale, 2016)
  14. yoojin grace wuertz, everything belongs to you (random house, 2017)
  15. kamila shamsie, home fire (riverhead, 2017)
  16. kristen kish, kristen kish cooking (clarkson potter, 2017)
  17. kim thuy, mãn (PRH canada, 2014)
  18. chinelo okparanta, under the udala trees (HMH, 2015)
  19. julia turshen, small victories (chronicle, 2016)
  20. sylvia plath, the letters of sylvia plath, vol i: 1940 - 1956 (harpers, 2017)

here's my annual stack for 2018 international women's day, and i love making these stacks so much. i love that i can populate them with predominantly women of color, that finding queer women (and, more importantly, queer WOC!!!) is not like hunting for that needle in a haystack, that i'm left thinking, ah! i should have added this title and this title and that one, too!

diversity makes my cold, little heart warm and swell, and i'm not interested in any celebration of womanhood that celebrates only white women or straight women or mainstream women. in relation, i'm not interested in feminism that excludes certain economic classes, feminism that says that we can be a part of their community only if we have the means to gain admittance into their playground. i'm not interested in feminism that only pays attention to the marginalized when they fulfill a specific need, more often than not a PR one.

and i know that i have to do better, too; i'm not trying to claim that i'm perfect or so much better off than anyone. i know i need to widen my geographic scope and read more from women all over the world. i know i need to read more from trans women. i know i need to read more from women who are not able-bodied.

that said, if you want to start reading more from women who aren't white and/or straight, here's a place to start. for full disclosure, i haven't finished every single book in this stack, and i didn't love them all equal amounts, but i stand by them. there are definitely a few books i've been pushing harder than others — like, oh my god, if you haven't read patty yumi cottrell's sorry to disrupt the peace or julie buntin's marlena or jenny zhang's sour heart yet, i highly, highly recommend you hurry up and do so. if you want to get your heart wrecked, read shobha rao's girls burn brighter and kim fu's for today i am a boy. and, if you're wanting to get into the kitchen more but are kind of intimidated, julia turshen's small victories is so freaking fabulous — and julia's so worth following on instagram and twitter because she actively boosts other women, especially WOC, using her platform to bring attention to issues and pressing concerns and needs.

should i not be spotlighting a few books over all the others? but, wow, i shamelessly admit that i'm stealing time between tasks at work to get this post up sooner than later.

so, hey, to keep this short and sweet: to all my women out there, WOC or not, queer or not, keep telling your bombass stories. keep putting your voices out there and sharing your strength. keep being the heroes of your stories.

and keep listening to the stories of your fellow women and keep supporting your communities and keep lifting up the voices of your fellow women, especially those marginalized among you.

together, may we continue to thrive.

find my stack for 2017 here and 2016 here.

earthquake weather.


it's been hot as balls this last week or two, and it's no secret that i hate heat of any kind. i don't care if it's dry heat or humid heat; once the temperature starts inching past 78 degrees, i start raging because i sweat non-stop, feel bloated, and struggle with lethargy. i mean, my insomnia is bad enough in whatever weather, and the heat has only made my insomnia worse.

it feels like a piddling thing to rant about, especially given the hundreds of thousands displaced in houston, in south asia, in LA county, and it feels like poor form, maybe because it is. let’s move on.


on wednesday, i finished kamila shamsie's home fire (riverhead, 2017), and i loved it except for the last paragraph, which left me confused and kind of muddled because i had to read it multiple times to try to understand what she was getting at. (i'm still not sure i "got it.") it's a paragraph that reads beautifully, written in lovely prose, but the ambiguity was too ambiguous for me, too prosey-for-prose's-sake, and it inserted a slight bitter note to a book that should have left me feeling unequivocally wowed at what shamsie has accomplished in these pages.

because home fire is a stunning book, one that achieves its ambitions. it's a punch in the gut, one that makes you look hard at yourself, at your internalized prejudices, and it makes you ask yourself what you think about muslims and islam and why you do and what those prejudices say about you and how they shape the world and affect real people with real lives and real families and real hopes and dreams and fears and loves.

home fire is not a book that lets you read it comfortably.

i finally started watching orange is the new black the other week, and i don't know that i'll keep watching all the seasons, but i'll keep going until i lose interest, which might be sooner than later. i’m currently halfway through season 3 because i skipped half of season 2 because i was bummed about the lack of alex and annoyed with the drama between red and vee — i couldn’t stand how power-hungry and emotionally manipulative vee was, especially over suzanne, or how she tried to drive a wedge between poussey and taystee. (i love poussey, poussey and her broken hearts.)

there are many things i love about orange is the new black, but, mostly, i love that it's a show about women, women who don't all look the same, think the same, want the same. i love the ways it shows how insidious racism and classism and misogyny are, how they don't always exhibit in obvious, gross acts or words but are often masked in more genteel, nice ways, like in a CO (healy) who appears to be a thoughtful, old white man who's looking out for his inmates. in particular, he wants to protect piper (the main character who's an educated blonde white woman with a male fiancé, for the unfamiliar) and make sure she serves her time without getting into trouble — except, no, his nice intentions are actually entirely rooted in racist, homophobic, chauvinistic crap.

and i think this is the scarier, more dangerous manifestation of any -ism, this kind of -ism that thinks that it's all right, it's not "like that," it's an exception to discrimination, hate, and bigotry. i'd almost rather have the assholes who march around in their polos and khakis, carrying tiki torches in public spaces (then crying about how their faces are being plastered all over the media), than have the assholes who think they're better than that — they're not racist; they're not sexist; no, they would never take to the streets with tiki torches or treat a black person as lesser or rape a woman. they would never.

except prejudice isn't always about brutality and overt violence. prejudice isn't always about assault. prejudice isn't always obvious.

prejudice is in the way you look down your nose at people and don’t want to grant them legal protection or equal rights or second chances because they're trans, they're addicts, they're sex workers, they're homeless, they're simply different from you. prejudice is in the way you think it's your right or calling to protect a woman because she's a woman and she's weaker, more emotional, in need of guarding because she's a woman. prejudice is in the way you think you're better than others like you because you're so nice to people of color, you tip service people well, you would never use the n word or call an asian person oriental or whatever — you’re PC; you know all the terminology; you ask people what pronouns they prefer.

prejudice is in the way you think you couldn't be racist or sexist or homophobic because you're a person of color or a woman or queer.

prejudice is in the small ways your world order betrays itself in your self-elevation, and the world is a more dangerous place for it.

i think a lot about media and art and content created by women and how they’re held to impossible standards. it makes me think about the 2016 ghostbusters with its kickass female cast, how it’s so much easier to criticize films by women, about women, [arguably] for women because we want them to be representative of so much more than they should be — a film like ghostbusters should be fun, easy entertainment, and, for all its weaknesses, i’d say it delivered on that front, and yet, it’s not good enough — it must be deeper, must contain no flaws, or it’s failed in its implied purpose, and, thus, work by women is not good enough and not worth investing in, and that’s all the fault of this one piece of work.

and i think a lot about art created by people of color, how there’s sometimes (often?) a sense that POC art should contain a deeper message, some kind of morality or stronger awareness of being in the world, like it should be educational somehow, exposing of the deeper humanity of POC that is apparently so difficult for non-POC to conceptualize on their own.

for our inaugural read, my online book club read bandi’s the accusation (grove, 2017), the first collection of stories by a north korean writer still living in north korea, and we talked about how we might read these kinds of “important” books differently from other books. do we give a writer like bandi more room to allow for narrative or style weaknesses because his work itself is important, giving us these glimpses into north korea, humanizing north koreans who are so easily demonized and pilloried by those outside?

similarly, am i relieved that books like moshin hamid’s exit west (riverhead, 2017) and shamsie’s home fire are beautifully written, so i can recommend them to people without having to add qualifiers of the writing isn’t as good, but it’s such an important book, you should read it?

am i glad that writers like jenny zhang and esmé weijun wang and celeste ng and rachel khong patty yumi cottrell are incredible, strong, unique writers because they’re asian-american and i want more of us asian-american writers out there?

if i’m subconsciously putting these burdens on my fellow women, my fellow POC, where does that leave me?

am i complicit in the system i criticize?


this weekend, i plan to read nicole krauss' forthcoming fourth novel, forest dark (harpers, forthcoming 2017), which harpers very kindly sent me — or, at least, i was planning to read it, but i got distracted by orange is the new black and the heat and planning content for national suicidal prevention week.

i’m so excited for forest dark; krauss is one of my favorite living writers; and her debut, man walks into a room (doubleday, 2002) is one of my top ten favorite novels, one i turn to when i'm feeling uninspired and discouraged because krauss' prose is exquisite and haunting. i love the way she writes about memory, about history, about the things that follow us, and hers is writing i aspire to, which isn't something i say about other people's writing in general. (i'm not interested in being another writer; i want to be my own; but, when i read krauss, i think, god, i hope i can capture this kind of ghostly beauty and thoughtfulness in my own way.)

i get a little anxious when it comes to new books by writers i love. will i be disappointed? are my standards too high? will this author be like ian mcewan, whom i loved once, until he started turning out book after book of beautifully written ennui?

and that’s heightened when the author has been away for so long — or, sometimes, when the author hasn’t been away for as long as usual (aka franzen’s purity [FSG, 2015], which was published only five years after freedom [FSG, 2010]) — and, yeah, this is all kind of dumb, but i want the people i love to do well, to thrive, and, so, there it is, this branch of my anxiety, like i don’t have enough to be anxious about in my own life.

maybe it’s a way of getting out of my own problems, though. who knows?


i’m also reading chiara barzini’s things that happened before the earthquake (doubleday, 2017), and i’m reading it as my commute read, something light and easy for those in-between hours when i’m zombie-ing it between home and work. i can’t say i’m loving it; barzini’s prose style is one i decidedly don’t enjoy, all clipped sentences and abrupt phrasing; and it’s something i don’t linger on, simply pass over as quickly as i can speed read.

in another instance, i might just stop reading things that happened, but the thing is, barzini’s novel hits familiar spots for me because it’s set in the san fernando valley in the 90s, and i grew up in the san fernando valley in the 90s. the streets she describes, the people, the attitude, the heat, the general feel, from the social post-LA riots tension lingering in the city to the narrator’s unhappiness being here — it’s all familiar, and i’m finding that, sometimes, that sense of familiar is nice.

as someone who grew up in the los angeles area, though, LA is not somewhere i write about because it’s not a place or a personal history i want to explore. it’s a place in time i’ve wanted so long to fold over and forget, to move on from and recreate myself, and, when i read about it, it’s very much like seeing a place in a dream, somewhere familiar but not, knowable but not.

it’s a familiarity that i enjoy exploring through the ways other people write about and capture LA.

it’s oddly a way for me to remember this place i came from, while also maintaining much-needed mental and emotional distance.

going back to orange is the new black, i can’t stand piper, and i don’t seem to be alone in this. i spend a fair amount of time thinking, oh, you white woman, and her naïveté and privilege are one thing, maybe, to some extent, something she can’t help, but it’s her sanctimonious but i’m a nice person! crap i can’t stand.

(alex deserves better.)

at the same time, though, sometimes, the reason people or situations or things make us uncomfortable is that there’s familiarity there, a realization of, shit, i’m kind of like that. i don’t like that about myself, too. i think like that. it’s not pleasant to come face-to-face with that ugliness, with the ways we try to guard ourselves from learning that, no, we’re not actually very nice, we’re all kinds of messed up and manipulative and self-protecting. we’re all kinds of selfish.

and piper is kind of the character who’s meant to play that part, just like she’s meant to play the part of the naive, ignorant, sheltered girl who’s suddenly thrust amongst people she likely never interacted with in the “real” world, who’s forced to reckon with her actions in the past and their effect on the present.

and yet … i’m so annoyed with piper that i’m close to dropping the show. or maybe it’s more accurate to say that i’m bored with the lack of alex, and i’m tired of piper being her deluded, sanctimonious self, and i’m tired of her running to alex when she needs her and leaving alex when she no longer does.

i just really like alex.

because, hey, i’m the kind of TV-watcher who shamelessly and unapologetically watches something for one person/character. what can i say? i have a weird loyal streak, and season 3 of orange is the new black is boring me because alex is just there to be piper’s girlfriend, and i want more of alex as her own human with her own interesting, complicated history and self and not as a cipher for a boring, annoying white girl who doesn’t seem to grow. end rant. and end post. i feel i’ve gone on for long enough.

september is national suicide prevention awareness month, and national suicide prevention week is september 10-16. are you ready? let’s talk.


here's to lazy sundays.


i have to say my last post was kind of a mess; i shouldn’t really try to write things when my writing brain is still recuperating; but i had photos i wanted to share, though i suppose i could have just shared the photos, forget about attaching so many words … but, anyway, on to the next thing.

sometimes, i like to spend chill, uneventful weekends at home, doing little else but running the most basic errands (usually just to the grocery store) and reading and doing little else. sometimes, i’ll meet friends for dinner; sometimes, i’ll clear my schedule so i can rest for the upcoming week; and i don’t know, i suppose the funny thing is that my idea of resting is to clean, cook, and clean some more.

you can’t cook without cleaning. it just doesn’t work that way.

anyway, so maybe i should stop saying “anyway” so often, but, anyway, i read multiple books at one time, hopping from title to title until something captivates my full attention and demands that i commit. now that i’m done with my book (for now), that means i have the time and energy to read again, and it’s been such a pleasure, diving back into the world of words i didn’t write, stories that aren’t mine to tell, to be reminded again of the vitality of stories and voices and narratives, especially given the state of our world today.

right now, my three main books are kamila shamsie’s home fire (riverhead, 2017), which was recently long-listed for the man booker, paul graham’s in memory of bread (clarkson potter, 2017), and eun heekyung’s beauty looks down on me (dalkey archive press, 2017). i’m about halfway through the shamsie and the graham and just barely started the eun. none of this stops me from having an opinion about everything.


i suppose, first things first — this is not my house. i’m temporarily staying at my parents’, and this is their house, the house i grew up in. it gets great light and is spacious, and it’s got counter space galore, which is great for making pasta, working with dough, cooking in general, hanging out, eating while doing some writing, reading, creating. when i think of home spaces, when i think of whatever future home i will make, i think of kitchens because, to me, the kitchen is the heart of the home, the center that holds it together.

(when i think of home, i think of you. i think of the meals we’ll make together, the messes we’ll create and clean, the life we’ll build from this core.)

i keep hearing that home fire is a retelling of antigone, and here is where i confess that, yes, i did read antigone — over ten years ago — and i’ve a bare bones remembrance of that story. here is also where i confess that i didn’t bother to google antigone; i don’t really care for retellings or “inspired by”s or “loosely based on”s or whatever; and maybe that’s a weakness in myself as a critical reader — shouldn’t i be interested in the source of things, the inspirations, the places things come from?

i don’t particularly care for greek tragedy, though, and never have, and i like walking into a book without external influence. it’s why i very rarely read reviews before reading the book (and, also, very rarely read reviews after reading the book), and it’s why i stay away from books that are newly published to absurd levels of hype. it’s also why i tend to stay away from the books that circulate heavily through instagram and media at-large.

going back to home fire, though — i’m about halfway through now and have hit the third part, the third character. the book is divided into five parts, each focused on a different character, and the novel, overall, tells the story of a family, of three orphaned siblings really, the children of a jihadi. the eldest is studying in northampton; the younger daughter is in london studying law; and the son has run off to join isis. it’s a book that has a lot to say about who we are, and it’s a book that might have fallen into the trappings of pedantic moralizing in another writer’s hands. (i feel the same about moshin hamid’s exit west, also riverhead, also long-listed for the man booker.)

rather than dive into content, though, i’m going to end this with a note on form: i’m always wary of walking into a book that focuses on multiple characters because, oftentimes, the book falls prey to ambition, the voices all sounding the same. shamsie, however, avoids this trap by staying in the third-person, simply honing in very tightly on each character. i’m tempted to say that i love this kind of narrow perspective, but i’m tempted to say that about any narrative form that’s done well. it’s the execution that matters after all.

but this is connected to what i mean when i say that it’s a book that could have been something else in another writer’s hands. instead, shamsie has thus far delivered a very human book, one that is unflinching in examining and presenting its characters as who they are, that is uninterested in casting one-dimensional judgments about one kind of person being morally better or superior to another. at the same time, home fire is also not interested in making excuses for people’s heinous actions or questionable behavior and thinking; shamsie doesn’t shy away from being critical, from drawing lines where they ought to exist, while still asking us, the reader, to be self-critical of our own assumptions and the narratives we force and enforce on people who might, on the surface, be Other from us.

in the mornings, i keep my skincare simple, though some may argue that applying five products to my face isn’t simple at all. i don’t wash my face in the morning, not with cleanser, because i don’t want to over-cleanse my face, so i just rinse with water in the shower and have that be that because, yes, i shower every morning, and, yes, i wash my hair everyday — if i don’t, my hair becomes a greaseball, and i have neither the patience nor the desire to “train” my hair to require a wash only every 2-3 days.

also, hi, i love eggs.

i picked up graham’s in memory of bread at elliott bay book company in seattle, and i picked it up because i loved that cover. (isn’t it beautiful and clever?!) i wasn’t planning on buying a book at all, but that sounds like a stupid statement to make because why would i walk into a bookstore in the first place if not to browse, hopefully find something that catches my interest and calls out to me, read me, read me, read me, i KNOW YOU WANT TO.

and, why, yes, i did want to read in memory of bread. i felt like i’d relate quite a bit, though it isn’t celiac that i have.

in his late-thirties, graham is diagnosed with celiac disease, and, after becoming deathly ill and being misdiagnosed several times, he has to make drastic changes to his life. to put it simply, he can no longer eat gluten, and it sounds like a deceptively simple thing — just don’t eat gluten, and you’ll be fine — much like living with diabetes sounds deceptively simple — just don’t eat sugar, and you’ll be fine.

the problem (also condensed down) is that gluten is in everything, much like sugar is often in everything, and, beyond that, graham has an emotional connection to food. to him, bread is not just bread; it’s ritual, familiarity, history; and a meal — the prospect of meals — is more than simply physical sustenance.

it’s all that emotional complexity to which i relate so heavily, and i’m marking up passages in this memoir while nodding along vigorously because, god, it’s nice just to know that someone gets it. food is not just food; it’s how we make connections with other people, other cultures; it’s one very visceral, very intimate way we learn about the world — and, for someone like me, someone like graham, that initial sense of loss is a terrible, terrifying thing.

part of me thinks this is a dangerous thing, writing about books before completing them. i mean, i might end up not finishing them at all; i might read further on and realize that this book is starting to fall apart, it isn’t worth my time; or i might finish them and think that i actually disliked them intensely.

and yet i don’t think that would invalidate the thoughts i’ve recorded here, how i’ve felt about them thus far.

i mean, if it hasn’t become clear yet, i’m interested in the process of things, whatever they are, even if it’s reading a book, not simply the end result or thought.


i never used to be the type of person who did much work or reading or anything other than sleep in bed. this has changed in recent months, usually as my day job wipes me out so i like to catch up on stuff in bed before i turn in for the night. i still need a desk, though, and i do most of my work at my desk, currently this blue one from ikea i’ve had since college. it’s my favorite still, and i love it, and i hope one day to take it to brooklyn with me, whenever i make my way back home.

now that the book is done (for now), there’s an essay i’m trying to finish, an essay i started writing late last year, one that’s gone through several iterations before settling into the shape and form it’s in now. it’s an essay that was born out of a desire to write about depression and longing, about love and desire, about the lingering, hateful will to survive, and, as always, i’m surprised by the ways any writing project grows, how it begins as a seed and goes through life cycles, how it attempts to flower, fails, lies fallow.

maybe that’s the fun of it, the malleability of projects, and i love this about creating content in general, whether it’s an instagram post, a blog post here, a long-term writing project i’ll spend hundreds, thousands, of hours on and try to publish. i don’t think one is lesser or greater than the other; it’s all work; it’s all something to create and to create well because work is work is work and i have to believe that all of this means something.

the great accomplishment of this weekend is that i managed to take down my cookbook tower (which was balanced precariously on a barstool for months) and arrange my collection on a shelf. i’m (obviously) being glib about that being my great accomplishment; i’m impressed my collection only toppled off my stool twice and didn’t damage anything; and this shift in space was a long time coming.

(speaking of, that massive cookbook post is still coming.) (also, that post-it on my macbook? it’s from seattle last month, and it has a list of restaurants on it. it’s still hanging on pretty impressively; i mean, i take my macbook to work everyday.)

if you hadn’t noticed, i like parentheses a lot — and, honestly, i don’t know what the point of this section was, maybe just to show: if you live with a reader or with a writer, you should be used to books everywhere.

(sometimes, i think about you, and i think about one day having to bring our books together. i imagine we’d read pretty different things, maybe with some overlap in food. i wonder if we’d end up with any duplicate copies. i wonder what we’d do with those. i wonder if i’ll ever write this goddamn story i started writing about you.)


brine, sear, bake — my holy trinity when it comes to chicken breasts and pork chops. brine your meat in a salt-sugar-water solution (i added some smashed garlic this time) (there’s something so therapeutic about smashing garlic); let it sit in the refrigerator for 30-45 minutes; while it does that, heat your oven and your cast iron skillet to 400 degrees; take your pork chop and rinse, pat dry, salt and pepper it; transfer the hot cast iron to the stove on high heat; toss on a chunk of butter (and some apples here); sear your meat on one side (for this pork chop, i seared the first side for 4-5 minutes); flip it; bake in oven (chicken takes about 20 minutes, pork chops from 6-10, depending on thickness) (chicken is done when the juices run clear; pork is done when you press a finger to the surface and it feels firm but still springs back).

you’d think i could have written that out in a list instead of a giant paragraph.

*insert shrug emoji here.

i first came across the library of korean literature, published by dalkey archive press with the literature translation institute of korea, at mcnally jackson, the bookstore i still consider my home bookstore, as funny as an idea of that sounds. (it’s true, though; my other home bookstore is greenlight.) (when i think of home, the one and only question that always starts ringing through my head is, will i ever get back home again?)

over the last two or so years, i’ve been growing my collection of books from this series, and i absolutely love that this exists. i love the range of authors, though it remains pretty contemporary in time, which i actually don’t mind, and i’ve even come to be fond of the covers, which are, at least, consistent and stand out, despite the plainness and, idk, un-aesthetically-pleasing-ness. every time i went to mcnally jackson, i’d check their shelves to see if they had any new titles (new meaning anything i didn’t already have), and, if i wanted a specific title, i’d always order through them. (if i wanted to preorder anything in general, i’d always order through them.)

truth be told, i haven’t really kept an eye out for new titles recently, not since coming back out to los angeles, but, on friday, i went to the last bookstore because i’d had dinner at grand central market and was debating whether or not to read home fire. i found this eun heekyung in the same display as the shamsie and had to pick it up. it’s new to the series, published this year, and i’m interested in any writing out of korea that has to do with bodies and food and people who don’t belong, marked as they are by their physical appearance. korea is largely a conformist society, and it expects sameness — it expects you to wear the same makeup, be the same size, want the same things — and, as someone whose body was always too big, too tan, too un-made-up, i’ve always existed outside that, spending much of my life looking in, wanting to be a part of that world, to be accepted and considered beautiful and desirable within those standards.

it’s a terrible way to live your life.

one of my favorite korean novels-in-translation is park min-gyu’s pavane for a dead princess (dalkey archive press, 2014), and it, too, is a novel that explores people who exist outside contemporary mainstream society, whether for socioeconomic or physical reasons. in pavane, the main female character is ugly and has been shunned her entire life for it, relegated to a life that would never attain much, would never be able to aim for anything outside her station, and maybe that sounds overly dramatic, but i dare say there are many women who might relate.

anyway, so, i started reading beauty looks down on me in the bookstore, was interested in the way eun writes about food, how often the mentions of food seemed to appear as i flipped through the pages, and i can’t wait to read this. i’m waiting to finish the shamsie first though, maybe wrap up the last one or two stories i have left of jenny zhang’s sour heart (random house, 2017) — i’ve been lingering over that collection because i don’t want it to end; i want more from jenny; i always want more from her because i always want more from the writers i love.

and the other thing maybe is that going back to korean literature-in-translation is also a way of going back home again. there’s a strangeness to it, yes, because korean culture is a place both familiar and intensely foreign to me, but there’s a comfort in all of it, in that base recognition of names and cultural cues and patriarchal bullshit. it’s a thing both attractive and repulsive to me, and that’s my way of negotiating my relationship with my ethnic identity, this simultaneous intense love and reproach that hold me close while often making me wish i could pull away, all the while knowing i never will.

this was supposed to be a simple, short post.