Today we published a new short story by Karissa Chen , who imagines stories of the women who lived and worked at the military brothel in Kinmen:
Perhaps one of us had a son back in mainland Taiwan, a child whose father was a murky memory, who was fed by his mother’s ability to moan with conviction. Perhaps one of us was stolen from the mountains, where bamboo grew thick and high, sold at such a young age she no longer knew how to make her way home. Perhaps one of us lost everything, and so gave everything she didn’t have. How do we tell these stories? Who will listen?
A beautiful piece by Grace Linden, on repatriating to Vienna :
In his memoir The World of Yesterday, Stefan Zweig wrote, “I look up again and again to the ancient constellations that shone on my childhood, comforting myself with the inherited confidence that, some day, this relapse will appear only an interval in the eternal rhythm of progress onward and upward.” Zweig, ever prescient, left Vienna where he had lived most of his life for England in 1934; he never returned.
We are in the middle of another relapse; who can say who the victims will be? I’m not naïve enough to think that becoming Austrian will make up for everything that happened to my family, to the people I will never meet, or stupid enough to think that I can ward off whatever is coming. But I have hope that this tiny act of reclaiming something I hadn’t even realized I was searching for will be a reckoning of sorts. It is an uptick, a restitution, the constellations of my childhood able to burn brightly again.
‘The Americans’ is a Great Show, But Its Characters of Color Deserve Better : Catapult instructor Laura Goode takes on one of my pet peeves about one of my favorite shows.
Lucie Bonvalet on surviving a terrorist bombing in India , and how the brain recalls traumatic events.
“The Married Man and Me,” by Cate Root:
How lucky can a person be, to meet a new best friend at thirty? Sometimes the married man compares me to his oldest friend, practically his sister. She and I are both Irish Catholic, both blunt, both women whose giggles turn into cackles. One day, after a long stretch of days spent together, just the two of us, he said to me, “Be careful, if you and I get any closer, it’s going to be weird. We’re approaching X level.”
I was upset because in the X, he did not say his wife’s name. He said his friend from way back, the sister one. I thought about how unlucky I was. Don’t people talk about being lucky enough to marry their best friend? How unlucky is it to meet a new best friend who is already married?
Our columnists Saadia Faruqi and Shoshana Kordova discuss death and mourning rituals in their respective families and faiths.
A couple of link , if you need some fun and ever so slightly past-due things to read. roundups
“I’m much happier in other, imaginary worlds”: I so loved this comic by Liana Finck .