Kevin Hu is a Chicago native and Brooklyn transplant. He has in the past lived in, been nurtured by, shepherded, and served in immigrant church communities. He is a writer, son of immigrants, fiction-reader, storyteller, and software engineer. You can find him at kevinhu.dev for more information.
I grew up searching for family. When I found it in the corners that I did, they were like filters in a kaleidoscope phasing in and out of this endless placeholder.
I don’t read dystopias. Not until now, that is. It might be because dystopias can be too grim or too cynical. I’ve heard from way too many people that after the election, they’ve foregone reading dystopian novels because it is just too real. And it’s true; there is already too much death around us.
Grandma was my primary guardian growing up. And like many of our guardians in Chinese immigrant families, Grandma was a mystery, a fish out of water. It may be because of how she mystified me that I never had the ears to hear her stories before she passed away.
My soul was riveted as I read the story of Marie in Madeleine Thien’s “Do Not Say We Have Nothing”. Marie was a Chinese Canadian who grew up with an absent father. The reason behind his trek back to China was a mystery — that is, until the unexpected arrival of the daughter of one of her father’s closest confidantes.
The obelisk of General Robert E. Lee represents more than just a memorial; it represents the lingering presence of white supremacy in America. It represents the power structures that the Confederate Army was fighting for. Racial superiority based on genealogy. Racism normalized.
Politics. One of the three things — the other two being money and religion — we are warned never to discuss lest it wreak havoc in our conversations. And havoc it does wreak. There is legitimacy to this warning.
After unloading the last box of books into my new office, a voice echoed from the hallway. Eat na tayo! Eat na tayo! Pastor Kevin, let’s eat!