Breaking the Script

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There’s a tendency to take writers who write about race and shuffle them into a genre, into a predetermined conversation, whether they wanted to be there or not. But even if the constraints of the game are rigged, what Jenny Zhang, Tanwi Nandini Islam, and Karan Mahajan have to say cuts through the BS pretty quickly:

It’s a real detriment to the quality of these spaces when they end up being dominated by white folks. I WANT QUALITY. The way is to PUBLISH MORE ASIAN AMERICAN WRITERS. South Asians, East Asians, Southeast Asians, first-generation immigrants, second generation, people who have been here for over a century, Asian Americans of every socioeconomic background, those who write about their identity in obvious ways and those who do not. Bill Cheng wrote about the blues in the South instead of about being Taiwanese American in Queens and everyone gasped. It’s like, “Get over it.”


Theodora Messalas is a New York-based writer and editor who could easily be talked into going to grad school. More from this author →