Miah: Julia Lin’s Stories of Fate

Back from a thought-provoking trip to China, I was more than happy to read Miah, Julia Lin’s first collection of short stories. The title means fate, and the characters are Taiwanese, who, like many Asians, suffered for years under the dominance of both China and Japan. Most of us are latecomers to the story brought…

Fine Writing and Human Rights

If anyone even hints to me that I ought to “take up arms against a sea of troubles,” I’m likely to tune out. Too busy, too tired, too depressed about the state of the world. Not knowing what to do about this state of affairs, I often look to literature to help me understand the…

A Gem: Dawn Promislow’s Jewels

More often than not, I’m put off by plain, bare-bones, minimalist writing, and here’s why: simplicity of language should point to clarity of thought, but too often it signifies nothing but the desire to be — well, bare-bones and minimalist. Flip through literary journals, and you find a bland sameness to much of the prose,…