Maggie Chiang was born to a Taiwanese family in the City of Angels and is a full-time artist and part-time dreamer. Inspired by places both real and fictitious, her illustrations evoke a longing for adventure and the pursuit of the unknown, exploring impossible landscapes and places unseen. You can find her online at hellomaggiec.com.
I am not very good with structure. Perhaps it is a subtle resistance against the Confucian emphasis on order, but my preference for spontaneity started young and it did not bode well for my spiritual health as assessed by churches that prioritized spiritual disciplines.
I have power and privilege as a queer hapa yonsei pastor. This is not a sentence I would have imagined speaking just a few years ago.
“We have a new student,” my teacher announced. “His name is ... Key-O ... Thompson from California.” It was my first day at Rankin Elementary School in Arlington, Texas, and it was a rare moment I was glad to be the only Samoan in the whole school. The way she pronounced my name, Kaio, actually changed it into a derogatory word in the Samoan language.
In 7th grade my geography teacher — in the name of celebrating our respective heritages — split us up into cultural groups and had us research our personal and group ancestries.
THE LAST VISIT to my parents brought up some feedback they had for inheritance: “Why are all the stories so sad? Can’t you tell a story with a happy ending once in a while?”
My last morning in Hawai'i dawned lush and bright, like every morning of the previous five weeks. As I splashed water on my face, looking out over the small town of Hilo, I thought back on my unexpected journey to the Big Island.
You know what freedom feels like? It feels like jerking awake with the gut-wrenching realization that I have no one to blame but myself.
I was on stage. In Beijing. In front of about 400 young Chinese kids. It was June 10, 2011, and the city’s swampy mixture of pollution, dust, and air had me sweating through my tank top at Tango, the mega-club next door to Jin Ding Xuan.
MY GRADUATE STUDENT and I stare intently at the video of a chubby-cheeked 6-year-old signing a story about a spider.
IT IS 1968 and I am 24 years old. My name is Sam Kayama. I was born in the American South in Greenville, Mississippi, and studied U.S. history in college, focusing on the events of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
THE FIRST WARNING SIGN should have been the label attached to the solid wood tabletop I was planning to use for my desk: "Should be treated with BEHANDLA wood treatment oil for indoor use prior to usage."
MY FAMILY MOVED to the Lao People's Democratic Republic in 1990, just as the country emerged from Cold War isolationism into an era of international development and commerce. No paved roads or traffic lights; hammers and sickles hung in every storefront window. At night, our Soviet air conditioner rumbled through the sticky heat; at dawn, we woke to Party broadcasts, blared across municipal grounds.
IN THE WAITING ROOM of Children's Hospital of Orange County, it's 5:41 a.m. and quiet. The hospital staff take deep breaths in this calm before the daily storm, treasuring the small sounds of shuffling feet and subdued conversation.