Musings on literature in translation and a quest to see the Super Moon in London

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Behind the scenes to the most recent feature I wrote.

One of the things that makes me feel grounded and connected to all parts of my identity (and just generally feel human ) is gazing at the moon. It’s something that’s simple and universal, but has special significance to me because it’s referenced so frequently in Chinese poetry, including the Tang poet Li Bai’s famed work “Quiet Night Thinking.” This week I wrote about it in relation to my quest to see the Super Moon.

I hadn’t done written translations since college, and started to consider it again this summer when my English vocabulary fell short in trying to describe my affection for my childhood best friend in a speech. It worked out so well I decided to try it again. Continue reading “Musings on literature in translation and a quest to see the Super Moon in London”

I Have Dual Ethnicity and Double Vision, Superman is Chinese, and Other Revelations

Dropping a note to say I’m alive. And, “Hi!”

The last few weeks I’ve been absent from the internet but present in the world, trekking from Colorado to Wyoming, Washington to Oregon. Except for when I was reading exceptional things. Here are a few… Continue reading “I Have Dual Ethnicity and Double Vision, Superman is Chinese, and Other Revelations”

The Joy Luck Club: A Novel by Amy Tan

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“The Joy Luck Club” by Amy Tan elegantly weaves together the stories of Chinese mothers and their American-born daughters. | Image courtesy: Novelr

As a child, I’d curl up next to Mom on the couch and she’d read to me aloud. There was a constant stream of stories and picture books. One rested on a high shelf next to the fire place out of reach. Gorgeous swoops of color swirled over its cover sleeve. With its hardback, I knew it was special. It turned out to be “The Moon Lady,” and that’s how I came to know Amy Tan and my first Asian American writer.

Now more than two decades later, I turn to her first novel.

My copy of the The Joy Luck Club is dogeared and battered. Whoever had it before me, likely my parents, loved and read it well. As did I when I read it before Christmas. Continue reading “The Joy Luck Club: A Novel by Amy Tan”

My friend wrote a book!

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Who’s that? Student Barney Scollan taking on Bruce Lee in San Francisco. Image courtesy: University of Nebraska Press

Brag moment: I’ve had the great fortune to help my rockstar friend with his rockstar book and it’s featured in the latest issue of the University of Nebraska Press catalog (see page 5).

Charlie and I met working at the Half Moon Bay Review. A talented photographer, he provided pictures as I provided words and together we made hundreds of stories.

Since then he’s been writing one of his own. A big one — a biography on one of the most influential players in media and martial arts, not to mention Asian America. If you haven’t met him already, meet him now. It’s Bruce Lee!

Striking Distance: Bruce Lee and the Dawn of Martial Arts in America” is Charles Russo’s first book. Yes, I’m biased because I’m so very proud of him, but even if I weren’t I’d still be swept up in it because it tells a colorful, ambitiously researched tale that touches on so many fascinating topics. If you’re interested in…

– Martial arts
– Bruce Lee
– The San Francisco Bay Area
– American history
– The Asian American experience
– Really cool pop culture

… Give it a gander!

Sara Hayden

 

 

Re Jane by Patricia Park

re_janePatricia Park’s debut novel “Re Jane” recounts the post-grad life of its title heroine as she balances her Korean and American identities. | Image courtesy: Navdheep Singh Dhillon, who happens to have a really great list of recent novels by people of color.

For Jane Re, it ain’t easy being 20-something. Fresh out of college, the job market sucks and she’s peppered with criticism at home by the uncle who’s raised her in Queens. What’s a girl to do?

Get the heck out of Flushing, for starters, then find a job as a nanny, inappropriately fall for her employer, recognize the inappropriateness of it all, run far, far away, and work through something of an identity crisis.

Patricia Park’s debut novel “Re Jane” takes the reader on a relatable journey, and not just because it takes inspiration from “Jane Eyre.” While the arc of her coming of age feels familiar, Jane is different. Continue reading “Re Jane by Patricia Park”

About the Silk Knots project

Silk Knots is brought to you by hapa journalist Sara Hayden. The project’s mission is to document and preserve the lived experiences and histories of people whose stories have been previously under represented, misrepresented, and/or under acknowledged across the American West.

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I love the power of stories as a way to create and connect community. My favorites are those that zero in on humanity and culture, appearing in the Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Half Moon Bay Review, Peninsula Press, Resonate, and more. Below are stories about the Asian American experience. If you’re interested in being featured or have a story tip, contact me here.

Regular Blend
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What is it like to grow up in a pressure cooker environment? How does it feel to immigrate and start life anew? Why do people shoot for the American Dream? Find out from people who have centered their lives in Silicon Valley and created a culture all their own. A multimedia experience.

Film Review: I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead – Steve Aoki
Resonate

A desire to carry the weight of the family name drives Steve Aoki to stand out in the Netflix documentary ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’.

Shaved Snow in Mountain View
Peninsula Press, SF Gate

Food is a portal to the world and a connection to culture as demonstrated by Snozen, a cafe in Mountain View. Video and radio feature.

Learning the ABCs of Being ABC
Half Moon Bay Review

How do you celebrate Chinese New Year when you’re mixed? Write your own rules. A personal essay in which Sara Hayden reflects on her experiences with the Lunar New Year.

A Healing Kind of Needlework
Half Moon Bay Review

Mark Takata started work as an athletic trainer for the San Francisco 49ers in 1987 and discovered the value of acupuncture shortly after.

Noble Silence
Half Moon Bay Review

Buddhist classes on California’s Coastside uphold Burmese tradition.

‘Love, InshAllah’
SF Gate, San Francisco Chronicle

Friends Ayesha Mattu and Nura Maznavi decided that they needed a space for American Muslim women to honestly voice their romantic experiences. The result? Sassy, sexy and humorous stories contributed by 25 women document anything from arranged marriage to first lesbian love and much, much more.

Language of Love
The Daily Californian

Inspired by a true story, Sumi, a Japanese woman, and James, an African American man, fall in love. They don’t speak each other’s native language, but find universal connection through communication and conflict. A podcast and written review of an experimental reading of the play “Yohen” written by Philip Kan Gotanda at the Durham Studio Theater in Berkeley, Calif.

Remembering Racism that Changed the Coast
Half Moon Bay Review

Naomi Patridge, who was the first Asian American woman elected to serve in San Mateo County and spent seven terms as mayor of Half Moon Bay, Calif., remembers her time spent at the Tanforan Race Track temporary “internment camp” as a child. Following an executive order issued by Franklin D. Roosevelt, Patridge her Japanese American family, along with 122,000 other innocent people, were removed from their homes and incarcerated in WWII.

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In addition to producing original pieces on the Asian American experience, Sara is committed to helping others share stories that have diverse perspectives. To that end she’s helped authors with the following books:

Striking Distance: Bruce Lee and the Dawn of Martial Arts in America
By Charles Russo
University of Nebraska Press

The Little Book of Skincare
By Charlotte Cho
HarperCollins

Luv Ya Bunches
By Lauren Myracle
Abrams Books