The Way We Mourned
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The five short stories in this collection illustrate the insistence of the imagination in a foreign country. The protagonists deal with loss and exile of the human spirit, as well as language. In “View of the Taft Bridge”, a Chinese painter befriends a panda in the National Zoo in America’s capital. In “Early June before the Millennium”, an illicit student and teacher relationship unveils a painful history of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre. An adopted teenager finds her life unraveled at the presence of a new tenant who shares her ethnicity in “Girl in the Basement”. And the inertia of a housewife drives her desire to become a house cat, in “Catwoman”, until dream and reality become interchangeable. In “The Way We Mourned”, betrayal and memorial are closely knit in the wake of a close friend’s death. These stories search for connections to bridge “self” and “other”, as well as one’s present with a haunting past.