what I write in English

Words:

Reunions, Carve, 2022

"All the stories that Jianying later repeated to her daughter would fall short of faithfulness. Only joy was emphasized—how she didn’t feel tired at all, how she greeted every visitor with the same comical recount of the night, how she rejoiced at the infant’s thick and black hair—like the mane of a lion! It never failed to amaze her. But it was the pain that gave depth to her joy—all the other pains felt small and trivial compared to it, and it seemed a natural beginning to a new chapter of her life. Until that chapter came to its end."

My Brief Time as A Nationalist, Catamaran, 2021 (Pushcart Nominee)

"Who was this girl? I thought. Why was I here, spending time with her? I knew nothing about her—what kind of house she had grown up in, what her parents were like, what festivals they celebrated and what food they prepared for those occasions, what minor adventure she had gone through as teenagers—all the details that made a person incredibly dear to another and were locked like a pearl inside one’s memories. I didn’t know how to collect it. Growing increasingly aware of the pearl inside me, I realized that she knew equally little about me. The desire to be known and known intimately was so overwhelming that I found myself shaking a little. To my despair I heard the rattling of my teeth." 

This Second Life, The Shanghai Literary Review, 2021

"It was the second year he moved from Beijing to Houston. By this point he would have seen the heat wave and the flooding, tried the barbeque and (even) the guns. He would have found his go-to barber shop in Chinatown, where he also shopped for groceries when he pined for the taste of home. He had made friends. Most of them Chinese, some of them international, few of them locals. During school breaks instead of flying home he would drive to Colorado with his friends in a big airy chunky Jeep. On ski trips they would rent a lodge with a jacuzzi tub and a wall decorated with deer heads and knives. At some point, he would find that he could stand a pat on the shoulder and accept a card printed with Jesus’ words. He went to the local church on a Sunday and joined a discussion group three weeks later. There he met a Chinese girl. A 1.5-generation. Whose English was accented with Cantonese and Cantonese accented with English."

Pipa, The Margins, 2021

"A golden teardrop in the making. The skin stretched pale and translucent, leaving the flesh to its own devices in an increasingly dangerous season. The fruit will not travel far."

What China’s Literary Community is Reading During the Coronavirus Pandemic, LitHub, 2020

Coronavirus Has Ground Chinese Publishing to a Halt, LitHub, 2020

Bank of Emergency, Arsenika, 2020

My Mother’s Fiction, A Public Space, 2019

The PEN World Voices Festival as It Happened: The Trick of Translation, Words Without Borders, 2018

Footprints in the Snow, The Millions, 2017

Conversations:

Placing Women at the Center: A Conversation with Honor Moore, The Los Angeles Review of Books, 2021

Writing From In-Between: A Conversation With Yan Ge, SupChina, 2018

Interview with Arundhati Roy, Brooklyn Magazine, 2018