During the pandemic, people had to make decisions about who was worth risking spending time with. We rarely made the cut.

Photo: Getty Images

The day I realized we need to move out of our San Diego home, I ordered four new pieces of furniture. Not little decorative stools or night stands that you can stack on top of boxes, but four solid wood cabinets that would require two or three movers to carry back out of the house and occupy valuable cubic feet in the moving van. One towered four feet tall, requiring anchoring to the wall for safety.

“Isn’t it crazy to order new furniture now, when we’re thinking of moving?” asked my husband.

“Yes,” I said. “But I’m not leaving until…

[Spoiler Alert]

Years ago, one of my Korean-American friends told me how exasperated she was with Korean-American stories. “They’re so depressing. They’re always about loss. What are we supposed to do with all that sadness?”

It’s almost as if writer/director Lee Issac Chung were eavesdropping on our conversation when he made Minari, as if he came along years later to answer that question for us.

In Minari, Jacob relocates his family from from LA’s Korean community to rural Arkansas where he sets out to grow Korean produce on the side while he and his wife Monica work as chicken sexers…

Jay Caspian Kang’s recent New York Times Magazine feature on Steven Yeun is not really a story about Steven Yeun. It is an exploration — through the medium of a famous body — of what it means to be an Asian-American in the United States. It is a slog through what Kang refers to as “prismatic neurosis”, a mild, yet controllable, disorder that he equates with our immigrant identity.

This slog feels apologetic, though nestled in the folds of the New York Times Magazine. Kang refers to his endeavor as “narcissistic self-exploration of an upwardly mobile immigrant”, something he believes…

Jaycee Dugard’s Memoir

Let’s talk about one case of abduction.

One morning in South Lake Tahoe in 1991, 11 year old Jaycee Dugard was abducted by Richard Garrido as she walked to her school bus stop. For 18 years, she was kept in Garrido’s backyard as a sex slave and forced to have two children by him. When she was discovered at the age of 29, her children were 11 and 15. The country shuddered in horror when we learned of her plight. What kind of a monster would do this, we wondered.

After Garrido and his wife were thrown in jail, Jaycee…

Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery

In the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests, Asian-American writers and activists have flocked to urge fellow Asian-Americans to speak up in support of Black Lives Matter. Many argue that Tou Thao, an Asian-American officer who stood guard while Derek Chauvin suffocated and killed George Floyd, symbolizes Asian-Americans’ silence on racial strife in America. They cast silence as adjacency to whiteness, a miscalculated strategy of social mobility and position of privilege that only foments further harm against Blacks by playing to the myth of the model minority.

Arguing against silence, these writers fill Thao’s. Jeff Yang on CNN interprets…

Shinyung Oh

Former lawyer, associate marriage & family therapist

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