A relationship as fragile as the living paper creatures holding it together.

I read a wonderful short story today. 2012-Hugo Award nominated The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu. It’s a story about shunning one’s cultural heritage, about fear of not fitting in, about parenthood. The mother’s ability to create living creatures out of paper is a subtle, yet grand form of magic that seems fully natural to her son, the narrator of the story, but this ability is not enough to hold his interest and as he ages his dislike for his mother’s heritage and her way of acting and speaking, which is so different from what is the norm in the society he grows up in, grows stronger. She is from the country-side of China, now they live in the USA. The mother’s struggle to connect with her son is as heart breaking as it is desperate. A painfully beautiful story.

You can read it online here, link found at the blog Worlds Without End.


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