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When the travel ban was first announced, I was studying abroad in Berlin and preparing to fly to Boston for an undergraduate conference. I’m from Hong Kong, not from any of the banned countries, but emails sent from my American college’s International Student and Scholar Office warning us to minimize unnecessary travels outside of the United States still triggered my worries. I knew that this would not be the last of the changes that...
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992) Directed by David Lynch One of the many positive effects of the impending return of Twin Peaks to the television airwaves is in bringing—on its 25th-anniversary year, no less—Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me back into wider public consciousness, thus opening it up to the reassessment it so richly deserves after its lackluster reception back in 1992. Naturally, David Lynch being the uncompromisingly idiosyncratic auteur that he is, the...
My parents arrived in America in the 1980s. They emigrated from China—godless, chaotic, Communist China—a place that was reeling from decades of turmoil, struggling to orient itself after the death of a leader who loomed larger than God. They’d least expect to encounter characteristics of that China in their new home, in one of the world’s most developed countries, nearly three decades later. Both my mother and my father came of age in Shanghai during...
Hala Alyan knows how to balance identities. The Brooklyn-based Palestinian-American spent her childhood moving between the United States and the Middle East; at thirty years old, she’s a licensed practicing psychologist, award-winning author of three poetry collections, and, now, a novelist. It makes sense, then, that Salt Houses, her stunning debut, offers such a piercing examination of displacement, identity, faith, and what one character refers to as a lifetime of “emotional code-switching.” The book begins...

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