“Family Titans”


“Evolving the story of the immigrant and the outsider”


“Call Waiting”

Active Living community blog

“Shades of Understanding”


“Masquerade,” winner of the 2020 BC-Yukon Short Story Contest


“Blind Luck”

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Excerpt from “Family Titans”

A-chieu told me stories about when she was younger, how she came to be a widow at the age of forty when her husband crashed his motorcycle into a concrete wall. Even though she already had four children by then, she said men came courting because she was good-looking.

“Beauty has a way of saving you,” she said with a throaty laugh.

Eventually, she remarried. By the time she discovered her new husband was a drinker and a gambler, she was already carrying his child. When A-chieu showed up in our kitchen with bruises on her body, she would say, “Beauty has a way of destroying you.”

One day she arrived with a fresh bump on her face and declared it was better to be smart than beautiful. She caught me staring and said in an unusually quiet voice, “Study hard, Little One, and never let men flatter you.” Even though I hadn’t started school yet, I felt the gravity of her words from the green and purple spreading down her cheek. When she bent down to scoop rice from the sack beside me, I reached out to touch the bruise. She jerked her head back and slapped my small hand away. I must have looked frightened because in the next moment, she dropped the rice pot and pulled me close, her thick arms enveloping my body. “Don’t worry, Little One, you won’t grow up to be like me.” Then, just as quickly as she hugged me, she let go.

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Excerpt from “The House”

I have spent my life fleeing from that house. But when my aging father calls and orders, “Time to return home,” my body obeys.

When I emerge from the thin shell of the 787 Dreamliner, the air is humid, laden with wet forest and pollution, my skin the first to recognize its birth home. Taoyuan International Airport is a marvel of glass and steel, bilingual signage everywhere to welcome the English-speaking tourists—and the illiterate diaspora.

I have gone / come