Brian Lin is a Ph.D. student in the creative writing and literature program at USC. He has participated in the Tin House Summer Workshop and the Napa Valley Writers' Conference. He is a 2020 Desert Nights, Rising Stars fellow and a 2021 Ragdale resident. Fiction editor for Apogee Journal and community outreach coordinator for The Offing, Brian is also working on his first books of prose.
Bestiary tells the stories of generations of teenage Taiwanese girls in the United States and on the island, and how neither place feels like home. A week before the novel was published in October, the National Book Foundation named author K-Ming Chang one of 2020’s five under 35, a fiction writer “whose debut work promises to leave a lasting impression on the literary landscape.” I was able to Zoom with Chang that same week. Bestiary is full of portals between generations and between worlds.
I learned about the Asian American Movement in 2012. It was my last year of undergrad and my first-ever class with all-Asian American peers. In the seminar, we got to the killing of Vincent Chin around the time of Trayvon Martin’s murder.
Chin was one of the first times I saw myself in the curriculum. A father and a son, both white, got away with killing someone who could have been me. That was recent history. In real time, another white man was getting away with killing someone I would have thought had nothing to do with me.