Joshua Chun Wah Kam regularly speaks out of turn about gay shit, shuttling between Malaysia and America, his two homes. He writes when he can, drinks when he shouldn’t, and bakes pies when the oven works. He’s currently posted in fair Ann Arbor, MI, studying the intersections between sexuality, ritual, and mysticism in Southeast Asia. Joshua has recently learned he’s the winner of the Epigram Books Fiction Prize, a Singapore-based pan-Southeast Asian prize for new authors. His novel, “How the Green Man Saved Pahang, and Possibly the World”, will be published this July.
I was excommunicated in the same restaurant I had begun catechesis. Over green curry, my Eastern Orthodox priest, his wife (my godmother), and I talked about recent developments in college. “So this protest at chapel … at the college,” he began, gently, the way white folks do.
As far as I know, the miniature house-shrine still perches on the corner of the wet market. I’d been in Malaysia for 14 years, and up until last year, I’d never looked inside. Next to the food truck that sells roast pork and the other one that sells water spinach bunched in rubber bands, the gilded three-walled shrine squats on its haunches over the street