Tag: Identity

EXCLUSIVE FEATURE: My Grandfather’s an Immigrant, and So Is Yours by Michael Chin

The following excerpt is taken from My Grandfather’s an Immigrant, and So is Yours”, a novel by Michael Chin (Cowboy Jamboree Press)

Take my middle school American History teacher, Mrs. Flannery. As we approached our study of internment camps during World War II, she asked if my grandfather would be willing to visit and speak to the class regarding his experience.

Russian Doll by Andrea Lynn Koohi

I never travelled as a kid but I did play “spin the globe”. It’s that game you play by yourself where you close your eyes and spin a globe, then use your index finger to stop it. When you open your eyes and see where your finger landed, that’s the next place you pretend to visit.

It seemed whenever I played this game, I landed on Russia. The largest country in the world, of course, but my 13-year old self took it as a sign. A sign I had some connection to this frigid, far-off place. And so began my Russian obsession. Mostly 19th century Russian stuff, since that’s all I could get my hands on, but I took what I could get. I borrowed books on Russian history, read all 800 pages of Anna Karenina. Ignored the strange looks of passers by as I sat on the beach with Crime and Punishment while other kids read Harry Potter. I imagined myself a Russian beauty with a pale, heart-shaped face and ever-blonde hair. I knew without a doubt I’d marry a Russian, study Russian in university. At night, Tchaikovsky blasted in my headphones while my mother and her boyfriend slurred daggers in the kitchen, diminuendos punctuated by crashing glass and the thud of bone on drywall. Sure, my pants had holes in the seams and I slept on the floor, but I burrowed in a dreamland, my own Nutcracker fairy tale, dancing the mazurka with a Russian beau.

The Book That Helped Me Look Within by Shilpa Gupte

“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. It means cultivating the courage, compassion and connection to wake up in the morning and think, ‘No matter what gets done and how much is left undone, I am enough.’

The words jumped out at me from the page of the book, Daring Greatly, by Brene Brown. A friend visiting India had gifted it to me three years ago, but I couldn’t proceed beyond the first chapter and so put it away. Non-fiction not being my cup of tea, I let the book lie in a cozy corner of my bookcase. I thought I would wait for the book to prompt me to read it.

The Sam Experiment by Pete Able

The old woman in the apartment across the hall always called me “Sam,” but Sam wasn’t my name. My name was Joe. But I didn’t correct her. At first it was out of embarrassment, but then I began to see humor in it. Guests would come by and she would call me “Sam” and I would explain the joke and we’d laugh about it.

But then later, after awhile, I began to think that maybe she had it right. Maybe I really was a “Sam.” I thought that maybe I was given the wrong name at birth, that perhaps there had been some kind of crazy, cosmic mix up.