Magical Language of Others by award-winning poet, EJ Koh, is a Memoir of an abandoned Korean child — not abandoned in the sense of thrown out but abandoned by parents who put their career before child rearing.
An article in Asian Review says, “It isn’t uncommon for immigrants to return to their countries of birth for better employment opportunities, but in this case Koh and her brother would be staying behind.
In her new memoir, The Magical Language of Others, Koh shows the damage that ensues when leaving one’s children during their teenage years for no reason but selfishness.”
Eun ji Koh and her brother were left behind in California to struggle it out on their own by parents who returned to Seoul for nearly a decade in quest of better prospects.
Koh did come out of it with the help of poetry, and her writing. In an interview in Wildness, she said: “When I was a girl, I had terrible nightmares every night. My mother told me there was a curse upon the women of our family (for no reason I know). We could afford neither peace nor ignorance of our dreaming lives. At twelve or so, I figured out that if I wrote down the dream each morning, it wouldn’t haunt me the rest of the day.” And that is how started her journey as an award winning poet and writer. Read more
Book Review by Namrata
Title: Wild Boar in the Cane Field
Author’s Name: Anniqua Rana
Publisher: Amazon, 2019
‘My mothers found me a week after I was born.’
And so, begins the poignant story of Tara’s birth, her survival and her death. Anniqua Rana’s Wild Boar in the Cane Field is a testimony to the old adage — survival of the fittest. Her observations of life of women in rural Pakistan combined with her knack of storytelling, ensures a reader is left enthralled.
Anniqua Rana lives in California with her husband and two sons. Apart from teaching English to immigrants and international students in community college, she also writes essays on gender and education.
Rana’s novel, Wild Boar in the Cane Field, journeys rural Pakistan where amidst the cane fields and smell of spices, we are introduced to Tara and her mothers. The prose is evocative and lyrical with descriptions that come alive in every passage. Read more
Here is a contest named after a famous American author, a Nobel laureate, John Stienbeck, from the twentieth century.
Entries of upto 5000 words can fetch a prize of $1000 and publication in the prestigious Reed magazine, California’s oldest literary journal. Read more
There may come a time when Asian-American writing loses its hyphen and becomes “American”. Ranbir Singh Sidhu’s debut novel Deep Singh Blue provides some indication that this point may be approaching.
Deep Singh Blue is a coming-of-age novel, a deliberate bildungsroman, that just happens to be set in a Sikh immigrant family in California in the 1980s. Deep, the protagonist, is an entirely American teenager with a dysfunctional lower middle-class family. His father uproots the family every few years and drags them from one non-descript town to another. He thinks college a waste of time. The mother agreed to an arranged marriage on promises of American being a land of milk and honey that it turned out not to be. Deep’s elder brother, the parents’ avowed favorite, suffers from what seems be increasingly severe schizophrenia. Each family member treats Deep—and each other—with varying degrees of disdain and contempt.
Deep escapes, first to a local college, and thence into a relationship with a deeply-troubled married young woman in her late twenties. Deep’s is a family and community whom the American Dream has passed by, leaving the detritus of casual and not-so-casual racism, violence and drinking in its wake. Read more
When Preethi Chandrasekhar helped launch Indian Moms Connect (IMC) — a South Asian-focused parenting blog — in 2011, there weren’t many resources available about children’s content, she said. That’s why, after five years of reviewing books and providing tips online, her organization will be hosting its first Festival of South Asian Children’s Content this weekend.
“It will be space to discuss challenges and talk about ways we can make representative content for children more accessible,” Chandrasekhar told NBC News. “While there are events and awards for South Asian writing, there isn’t one specifically for children’s content.”
The San Francisco Bay Area-based festival — which is the first of its kind, according to organizers — will take place at the India Community Center in Milpitas, California, on Nov. 5.
More than 30 authors, content creators, and app developers have been invited to the event, including independent publisher Yalli Books, Chandrasekhar said. Read more