Family

Searching for My Parallel Life in Vietnam

What might have happened if we had stayed?

Nov 03, 2021
Skateboarding Gave Me a Way to Express My Grief

Yes, this system is imperfect. It took years—and the privilege of professional help—before I’d learn to articulate my grief in words.

Oct 21, 2021
Reaching for My Family—And My French Not-Husband

Comforting each other is more natural when we’re physically present, which is what the pandemic made it impossible for my not-husband to be.

Oct 20, 2021
I Refuse to Feel Guilt for My Guilty Pleasures

The invisible fence that divides highbrow and lowbrow is largely imposed by money, those we admire, and our own social conditioning.

Facing Crises—and Mosquitoes—at Home in Osaka

If you’re looking at something, you don’t know where it’s going; if you know where it’s going, you don’t know where it is.

Sep 28, 2021
After Sitting Shiva in the Pandemic, What Comes Next?

The grief of the pandemic era is ongoing. What happens if everyone is sitting shiva at once?

Sep 22, 2021
Traveling With My Parents Taught Me “Growing Up” Is Not “Growing Old”

My parents were old. It was time to take seriously the last years we had left. That is not, of course, how they saw things.

Sep 08, 2021
The Mango Missile Crisis

After her arrest, I started to understand. All the racist slights and foolish men my mother had endured. More reasons to be angry than I could count.

Inheriting My Mother’s Body

Twenty years after the not-cancer, my mother died of cancer. Maybe that’s why when they tell me it’s a fibroid I’m so afraid.

Aug 30, 2021
Beverly Cleary Taught Me How to Share My Divorce Story

I had tried to show the world that I was resilient, never fallible, but my unwillingness to deal with my sadness and anger was hurting me and my daughter.

Aug 25, 2021
Midcentury Modern

I find myself looking at the same memories with new eyes now that you’re gone.

Aug 03, 2021
My Mom’s Pandemic Piano Taught Me You Can Always “Find Yourself”

It was the first time I’d ever noticed growth or newness this way: reclaiming, or returning, rather than overhauling and chasing.

When the Squirrels Are Over

Squirrels are violent maters. I thought about that as metaphor, but I’ve already written that kind of essay, that story.

Dear Imo: A Letter from the Korean Diaspora

I made a promise, too, that I would bring her back to you.

Jun 23, 2021
We’re in Sasquatch Country Now

How the Bigfoot legend helped me reconcile unanswered questions about my adoption

Jun 03, 2021
My Father, the Slingshot Master

For my father, the slingshot seems to offer a moment of creative flight, a brief escape. It isn’t the solution, but it keeps everything balanced.

May 25, 2021
The Minari of My Memory

That plant in a park in Rhode Island delivered the promise that there might be something familiar in this place where everything was new.

May 06, 2021
Maximum Dog

Even before the pandemic, we’d stopped having people over to the house. It’s become a doghouse that allows a few humans to stay there.

Apr 28, 2021
When Chickens Hatch

Helen Young Chang on remembered racism, both explicit and subtle, and what her parents brought from Taiwan to Southern California.

Apr 22, 2021
What Adopting a Dog Taught Me About My Eating Disorder

During those first weeks, I was in a never-ending, often failing battle with Penny, then an eight-pound roly-poly of a beagle

Mar 18, 2021