“There are always architects for exploitation and subjugation . . . There is no exploitation unless there are people who are quietly complicit. That is the nature of human subjugation. Complicity is a ghost haunting this story.”
“There are nights when across the bay we can see
Lights pressing the form of a certain small town.”
“I want my fiction to be entertaining. I also want it to be honest to experience, to foster what I believe in, not pander to anything base—to have an ethical and moral perspective—and to have beauty.”
I allowed myself to write without compartmentalizing the Chinese from the English, the Cantonese from the Mandarin, and let the sounds from other places dance and mix into the poems.
“Sometimes I channel my writing in the same way I channel my art. I try not to think hard about what I’m putting into the draft of an essay, but the hard work begins when I have to kill my darlings and shave the piece down to its essential parts. This is why I love to play with various forms and genres.”
“It’s 1968: Diana is eleven, an orphan, and knows more than she should.”
“By now Nermina understands the presence of the white UN vehicles throughout Sarajevo will do little to stave off the siege; only these men who drive the trucks—Bosnian Muslims and Croats—have a chance of delivering Nermina and the others to the relative safety of the airport tunnel.”
I’m driven by oh-so-close failure. To get near to your goal—whatever that is—to see it up close: it can make you want it even more, can spur you to take more risks. Art needs risk.