Jenn Lee Smith is a writer and producer. She grew up in Taiwan, rural Utah, and California ethnoburbs. Visit her at jennleesmith.com
Jenn Lee Smith
Set in Boston in the 2010s, SJ Sindu’s Marriage of a Thousand Lies deftly navigates immigrant family culture, war trauma, sexuality and authenticity through the main character, Lucky. When we meet her, she is traveling between and across binaries and grappling with multiple categories of identity in order to fit into the social environments around her.
Michelle Lin (@michellelinpoet) may have tweeted that she wrote her poetry collection to incite us into “sobbing uncontrollably forever,” thereby turning us all into houses made of water. By imparting stories and anecdotes of trauma, alienation and relationships that are fraught with tension, she may have well succeeded.
The back cover of Xu Xi’s latest book proclaims it “The Transnational 21st Century Novel” hinting at the vastness of the geography and time it encompasses. However, one is still left unprepared for the huge cast of characters and the sheer complexity of navigating their connections with each other as well as the dynamics of 20th century US-Sino relations, while also shifting across different time periods and piecing together the numerous facets of the absent protagonist as lover, friend, brother, musician, businessman and force of nature.
Who would Chavez or Itliong lead if not for you guys on the front lines? You’re the ones making the most sacrifice. You’re still here while so many of the strikers have left. Chavez is getting all the press coverage. Everyone will remember him…But will anyone say the same things about you or any of those guys? Who will sing your praises, Manong Fausto? Who will even know it was the pinoys who had the courage to sit down because it was the right thing to do, even if Chavez said it was the wrong time to strike and had to be talked into it.