Viviane Eng is Food & Agriculture Editor at Hyphen Magazine. Born, raised, and currently based in New York City, her work explores the intersections of race, culture, and power, especially (but not always!) in the context of food systems and spaces.
On the morning of February 6, 2021, one could sense that something important was happening on the streets of Manhattan’s Chinatown. In addition to those grocery shopping and going about their regular business, others walked in small groups toward 10 pre-mapped destinations, as if on a pilgrimage of sorts, donning facemasks and morning beverages in hand.
Elizabeth Miki Brina’s memoir, Speak, Okinawa: A Memoir, delves into the complicated history of her parents — an Okinawan war bride and a Manhattan-raised Vietnam War veteran. Her story explores the direct effects of U.S. imperialist ventures on her parents’ relationship, her experiences growing up pulled between two worlds and how she’s begun to make sense of her family’s American history — in which so much had previously been left unsaid. Viviane Eng corresponded with Miki Brina about her literary inspirations, writing during the pandemic and her mission in writing the book.