After mom got remarried to a white architect, my twin brother and I moved to Wacker Drive to live in the future. For Yoshi and me, the honeycombed Marina Towers were a time warp to another dimension.Read More
The Sympathizer forces readers of Asian American Pacific Islander (APIA) literary fiction to reconsider our own craft dogma and ask questions about the value of literary didacticism all over again: when is didactic literature useful, even necessary, and what purposes can it serve in our society as art, historiography, and also racial, cultural, and moral education?Read More
I've been working tirelessly with my agent on my revisions for The Ninjas of My Greater Self for a solid three months now and we are finally done with the substantive edits, which feels fucking incredible. I'm just waiting for a few blurbs from some literary superstars and then my agent will officially begin sending out cover letters to editors. I'm exhilarated about this. I'm also mildly terrified. I mean, these next three to four months will shape my literary debut in the New York publishing world and also have a major impact on my literary career. I know that sounds hyperbolic, but it's actually true. I've been waiting my whole life for this moment. My fingers are crossed.
I got the great news yesterday that my short story "Conspiracy of Lemons," which is part of my conceptual short story collection, City of Sand, was accepted in Witness, a journal I've been sending submissions to off and on since 2010. It's incredibly satisfying to finally get a piece in that literary journal. Stay tuned!
Only in a Japanese RPG can a boy band save the world from the nefarious empire and its demonic biotechnological army. In Final Fantasy XV, four male friends led by its visual kei leader, Noctis (whose name means “night” in Latin), use the empire’s language of violence to decolonize the kingdom of darkness. Somewhere, Fanon’s ghost is drinking sake and smoking Peace cigarettes in celebration.Read More
Today I got an email telling me that my personal essay, "When Words Make You Real," was accepted in the mixed-race anthology The Beiging of America, which is awesome. I'm happy, proud even, to be part of such a groundbreaking but also crucial anthology exploring what it means to be mixed race (in my case, hapa) in America.
I found out today that my novella, The Laws of Drowning and Rhetoric, is a finalist in Curbside Splendor's Second-Annual Wild Onion Novella Contest, which is fucking amazing and wonderful (though I won't let myself get too excited because the other three finalists are all talented and worthy). For those of you not familiar with Curbside Splendor, it's one of the best indie presses in the whole goddamn world (it's true). And what's even more awesome, Curbside Splendor is a Chicago joint, which makes me happy and proud to be part of this contest since Chicago is and will always be my hometown. The winner will be announced in the beginning of December, but I'm not gonna lie, it would be fucking incredible to win this contest. It would be a dream come true. It would help build my career. It would help me stay connected to my city forever. It would be incredibly encouraging too. And considering that I've been working on this novella for ten years since I started my MFA, it would be life-changing for all the work I put into this manuscript. But for now, we'll have just have to wait and see. Fingers crossed, man. Fingers crossed.
In this confusing time of professional androgyny and male disempowerment, men were wounded birds. Dual income households had emasculated them of their sacred institutions of power. Wings clipped, humbled and demoted to democratic gender roles, men had no choice now but to accept their new gun-to-the-head humanism and become motivation speakers and fitness gurus, construction muscle and Pentagon Yes-Men.Read More
Maybe, she’ll buy a one-way ticket to Seattle and throw her dirty underwear off every bridge. And maybe, she’ll buy a ticket to Montréal and then OD on Oaxaca smack in the Greyhound bathroom like the lead singer from Blind Melon.Read More
Today, I got the great news that a chapter from my novella, The Laws of Rhetoric and Drowning, was accepted by Hobart, which publishes fantastic fiction and interviews, among other things. I'm really happy to see this piece put in the public eye! Stay tuned for more deetz.
There was a flower arrangement to our entrées, a harmony of light and darkness inside the dining room, a small ceremony for the chilled chickpeas and sun-dried tomatoes, crisp Arugula salads, haunting ginger slices and incinerating Thai soups, that was uniquely Japanese in spirit and decorRead More
I just got the awesome news today that my lyrical essay "Obāsan in a Cup," which is part of my experimental memoir Dream Pop Origami, was accepted in the always-awesome Guernica Magazine. Even more shocking, it will be published tomorrow. Many thanks to the smart, perceptive, and insightful suggestions from Raluca Albu, the CNF editor at Guernica. Stay tuned!
I agonize over my own workshop pedagogy now that the mic is in my hand. This agony comes partially from memory: I remember the completely avoidable trauma I experienced in my own MFA program as a hapa fiction writer whose racial and cultural legibility was confusing at best and dismissed at worst.Read More
Matthew Salesses runs and directs an awesome column at Pleiades about workshop craft and workshop pedagogy and I'm happy to say that my essay "The Velocity of Flying Objects" about my own workshop methodology will be published soon on the magazine's website. Stay tuned.
I got the good news recently that my flash fiction piece "Living in the Future," which is part of my short story collection Atlas of Tiny American Desires, was accepted in the literary journal Arts & Letters and will be appearing in either the Fall 2016 or Spring 2017 issue. Nothing like a short story acceptance to keep my spirits up.
Compared to my friends on the tenure track, my deal isn't as sweet, but compared to my friends suffering through the adjunctification of academia, my life is pretty damn good. So, I finished reading and grading 60 final portfolios two days ago after reading 60 advocacy projects the week before, which means I'm now free until classes start in the fall. That's to say, I'm fucking free for a few months!
Last summer, I made the colossal mistake of playing it by ear, which got me dropped in a wormhole. One minute I was playing video games obsessively on my PS4 without a care in the world, spending my free time mindlessly like a rich baron, then my fam came up for a long weekend, then LB's fam came from Chicago, then LB and I went to Scandinavia, and then the next thing I knew, my summer vacay was fucking gone. Suddenly, I was psychologically preparing myself for another year of teaching, my first paid summer just a tiny dot in my rear-view mirror. This summer, I vow (strong word, I know, but I mean it) to not let this summer slip by. Yes, I'll sleep in and enjoy my time off like a profligate Beverly Hills lawyer watering his lawn obsessively but this time I want to find a good compromise between wasting the summer away and scheduling the shit out of it.
These are my goals for this summer:
1. Play the second and third Unchartered Remastered Nate Drake games and remember why I was once so obsessed with Indiana Jones as a kid (well, minus the Temple of Doom, that one totally sucked)
2. Play Final Fantasy X-II in time for the epic release of Final Fantasy XV that was supposed to come out like ten years ago
3. Finally play Raymond Legends (it's been in my wishlist for years now)
4. Begin working on my second LP, which will be mostly post-rock instrumental music (piano, strings, and some beats)
5. Since LB and I will be back in Vienna this summer for a few days, I'd like to study German this summer
6. Study 日本語
7. Run three times a week, lift weights twice a week, and possibly (but not realistically) take a spinning class
8. If a manuscript of mine gets accepted for publication soon inshallah, then revise that for much of the summer first and foremost (still waiting to hear back from a few presses). Either way, revise my manuscripts and work on my third novel
9. Submit short stories and lyrical essays to journals
10. Invest in my wardrobe some more because you know, I don't already have enough excuses to buy shit online (or enough button downs, for that matter)
11. Meditate regularly
12. Stop going to be bed at 4 in the morning
13. Get some new ink on my right arm
14. Blog more often
15. Read the complete graphic novel series about the Shōwa period by Shigeru Mizuki
16. Read 1-2 books by Susan Sontag
17. Read another novel by Zadie Smith
18. Read another novel by Salman Rushdie
19. (Re)-read one "big book" this summer: the choices are DFW's Infinite Jest, 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, Ulysses by James Joyce, or Underworld by Don Delillo.
20. Finally read Roxane Gay's Bad Feminist
21. I know this is a stereotypical LA thing to do, but maybe whiten my teeth because I drink so much fucking tea, it's ridiculous
22. Stop making so many damn lists . . ..