how to read the air-dinaw mengetsu

“Is it the one who gets left behind who suffers more, or is it the one who’s sent out alone into the world to forage and create a new life?” (5)

“…drawing on every language and country he had ever known, proving that language, like memory, suffered from the same need for context in order to survive.” (42)

“But then I thought that was the problem all along, that before a family secret or past can be revealed there has to be a family to begin with, and what we were was something closer to a jazz trio than a family-a performance group that got together every now and then to play a few familiar notes before dispersing back to their real, private lives.” (152)

“There were rumors of massacres on both sides. Who was responsible for the killing always depended on who was doing the talking.” (229)

“We were both suckers for wishful thinking, and each morning, regardless of how quiet and tense we were the night before, there would seem to be the possibility that it had all just been a stupid mistake, and that whatever was wrong between us could be righted come morning by the sheer force of will and love.” (106)

“Ghosts are common to the life of any child: mine just happened to come to dinner more often than most.” (9)

“I realized….that this was how my father must have sounded thirty years earlier, when he first arrived in America with less than a hundred words to his name and no past or future tense to speak of.” (148)

“Learning a new language was, in the end, not so different from learning to fall in love with your husband again.” (3)

and, so. here is another fictional (not fictional) example of what i mean by “we don’t have that many moves as humans”. when people ask what my show is about, i don’t know why they’re confused when i say, “the same thing that every show is about-work, family, the world, relationships, love, language, art, life.” i mean, everything i’m interested in and concerned about, and curious on how other people are navigating is right (right) here.

so, immigrant tales within the context of north america (with the caveat of how the differences between us and our neighbors are subtle yet crucial), and how they translate across and within dialects and generation-this is right up my alley.

i’m pretty sure this came from the philly free library authors and writers’ series, but at this point, it could be my completist tendencies to consume every word this man writes.

today, i am great-full for dinaw mengetsu.


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