I don't typically read dystopian novels. Too dark for me. The very meaning of dystopia warns me away. It is an imaginary place in which everything is as bad as possible (Oxford dictionary). In the dystopian fiction world, societies are generally characterized by class divides, environmental devastation, and loss of individuality. Set in a near future, they are allegories to generate a sense of urgency to change our ways. Today is my first foray into this world. I read two dystopian novels this week set in an imaginable future that described a degraded world for all of us, but Asian Americans in particular. As the Chinese New Year began, with its horrific violence, it seemed fitting to immerse myself in these worlds. We have a long history of Asian American discrimination in our country, now exacerbated by the pandemic. Both books have Asian American protagonists.

The Loved Ones: Healing an Inheritance of Grief

If you think about the families in this story, the plot and its twists, or even the unlikely title for this book, you might wonder how in the world it fits together. And yet it does. Remarkably well. It is a story of unlikely attractions, where they lead, their consequences and how they shape lives. … Continue reading The Loved Ones: Healing an Inheritance of Grief

HOW TO MAKE A LIFE

There have been many generational family sagas written lately about how choices and experience made in one generation impacts the next.  Most, however, are told in the same tired way. There are two storylines—one past, one current— and they alternate chapters with the endpoint moving toward an intersection of the two. Invariably, I savor the … Continue reading HOW TO MAKE A LIFE